YOUR LEADER IN ECO-BUSINESS & LIFESTYLE
ISSUE 1 • 2017
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FIRE & ICE
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10 l 20 enta nm sm iro nali v En our ard J Aw er nn Wi
ican Afr ited uth Lim e So ies Th er Brew
08 General 22 Desalinisation 24 Water 48 Energy
16 Desalinisation 26 COVER STORY: ACSA 40 Sustainable Energy 80 GMOs
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EDITOR's NOTE Even as this first issue of Simply Green in 2017 is being 'put to bed', Cape Town metropolitan authorities are responding to a precipitous drop (both puns intended) in the city's rainfall catchment area dams.
It was almost exactly a year ago that we called attention â€“ for those few not previous attending to the issue â€“ to the fact that there was a looming water scarcity crisis for the entire country, now somewhat diminished through recent heavy rains in the central, northern and eastern parts of the country. But the Western Cape, despite dramatic
thundershowers, has had no real relief and so yet another round of severe restrictions are being imposed in the hope of extending the city's potable water from rainfall storage dams can be stretched out into the (hoped for) forthcoming winter. Inconvenient is not the word for a lack of water; this single factor has been the demise for any number of once-great civilisations around the world, from the Mayan and the Anasazi in the Americas to the Khmer of Cambodia, whose temples and cities were brought to ruin when water stopped flowing or when severe drought hit. A little over 10 years ago Al Gore described what we have now, what was then coming, in his famous An Inconvenient Truth. Living it, we find that we may be pressed beyond inconvenience into a threat to food supplies and, for some of the poorest in the region already living on the edge of existence, perhaps even into a struggle for survival itself. Things are every bit as serious as that. It does not help us one iota that Simply Green, founded in 2008 precisely because a group of climate-aware people got together to create this vehicle for information and related calls to action on all climate and eco fronts, has been ahead of the curve and 'right' about the severity of climate change, and about how quickly it is coming. Indeed, 'coming' is no longer the appropriate term; climate change has arrived, though as yet not in full measure. One can see the shock of that realisation setting in on the face of actor Jack Black, on a National Geographic TV show called Years of Living Dangerously, when he realises that Miami's goose is most definitely cooked, despite the billions of dollars currently pouring into 'prime' beachfront property even as the show was being made (late last year). That city will, beyond even the faintest of doubts, be underwater in the not only the lifetimes of almost everyone who reads these words, but much sooner than that – maybe in as little as 15-20 years. The shock deepens when Black is told that what we are seeing now is the result of CO2 released fully 30 years ago. Since then an awful lot more carbon has been set free into the atmosphere, accelerating the warming effect on the planet
caused by our apparently endless appetite for hydrocarbon fuels, along with a huge quantity of the yet-more severe greenhouse gas methane from rapidly melting Arctic zones where summer temperatures are soaring (by as much as 7-8°C) and winters are shortening. The icecaps over Greenland and even Antarctica are thinning. We are right on the thin edge folks, in case you did not know that – and the fall looks precipitous. When we began Simply Green we realised that people don't want to read a magazine that scares them – at least, most people don't. But there comes a time when failing to speak up is to collaborate in something you simply can't be part of – and we have now to sound the most serious of warnings: as with Miami, so to every coastal city and most riverine cities around the world – they shall be sunk, and not long hence. Even the most cautious of climate scientists (ignoring the obviously deranged or self-interested denialists) agree that climate change is on us and that it is already worse by far than predicted just 10 years back for this time. We can and must tell you that the curve of change is going into the exponential phase as the CO2 of previous decades kicks in, with all that that means. We must now do all we can to save every drop of water, but also to ensure we nurture every pristine environment, reduce our waste dramatically, cut pollution and not poison rivers and the sea. It is beyond a duty to do these things – it is a survival necessity. Some may respond that we are 'alarmist' and 'exaggerating'. Our response is: we shall see. But between now and then let's overlook the reality that the facts are scary and get on with what each of us can do and what collectively we can bring to bear on terms of political, buying and other pressure on decision-makers, public and private, in a serious effort to reduce the most severe impacts that we, and most certainly our children, will have to bear in a profoundly climate-changed future.
Here's to a fantastic 2017. Chris & the Simply Green team
BIO MINE DETECTOR A group of MIT engineers led by Michael Strano has converted ordinary spinach plants into biological bomb detectors. The engineers implanted customised carbon nanotubes into the leaves of living plants to turn them into a real-time monitoring system for explosive molecules. When the plants suck water from the ground into the leaves, the carbon nanotubes can detect the presence of any nitroaromatics – chemical compounds often found in explosives such as landmines. When the researchers shine a laser on the nanotubes, they emit a fluorescent signal if they pick up nitroaromatics. This signal can be detected by an infrared camera up to a metre away. The research, published in Nature Materials, has yet to be tested for real, but eventually it could be possible to sow seeds across a site suspected of containing landmines and use the plant detection system to locate them.
For the full story click here.
BIOCHAR AS YOU COOK The latest entry to the biomass stove market is a stylish and functional offering from the Italian company Enki Stove, and while it's designed with outdoor adventures in mind, this clean cookstove would also look right at home on the deck or picnic table. Originally launched this spring via a successful Kickstarter campaign, the Enki Wild and Wild+ biomass stoves are billed as being able to 'cook everywhere with everything', while also converting the fuel materials into biochar, which has been shown to have a beneficial effect on soil health. While some biomass stoves are in the 'rocket stove' category, the Enki models are considered to be pyrolytic stoves, and instead of burning the fuel directly, the design facilitates the conversion of the feed material into gas, which is then burned (also called a gasifier stove) for a clean, smoke-free flame. And while it's still a combustion stove, and entails burning a fuel for heat, this design also allows for the efficient use of small biomass scraps (twigs, bark) and yields a waste material that's potentially beneficial for both carbon sequestration and building healthy soil.
For the full story click here.
AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL Is the jury still out about whether we’re experiencing global warming, global cooling, the effects of Haarp, or some other hi-tech gizmo that’s quietly busy frying our lovely little planet? We all know there’s much more to that Inconvenient Truth, and Paramount Pictures is all set to release the follow-up to former Vice President Al Gore’s two-time Academy Award-winning landmark documentary about the world’s climate crisis this year on July 28.
Minimalism: A DocCIE About the Important Things
This intriguing film asks a question we should all be asking ourselves: How might your life be better with less? When Joshua Fields Millburn packs for a trip, he uses a single duffle bag. It contains two button-up shirts, a few T-shirts, a stack of underwear, jacket, toiletries bag, laptop, and a blow dryer. He’s already wearing his single pair of jeans and shoes, so those don’t need to be packed. And that’s it – he’s off and away for a ten-month book tour around the country. Millburn, together with his childhood friend Ryan Nicodemus, is one of the Minimalists. The two-man team is on a mission to spread a message that less is more, that letting go of material possessions opens people up to better human relationships and more meaningful lives, not to mention free time and saved money. They have found a receptive audience. Millions of readers flock to their website, updated regularly with thoughtful blog posts and podcasts, seeking advice on how to focus on the things that really matter in life.
Click here for more info.
A Love Song #ShowTheLove
SCIENCE IS GOLDEN
With the Women’s March on Washington an unmitigated success, scientists are preparing their own demonstration at the nation’s capital. It began, as many of these things do, with a stray comment. 'There needs to be a scientists March on Washington,' someone wrote on Reddit, where several scientists discussed their concerns over what they perceived to be the Trump administration’s antipathy, if not outright hostility, to climate science and other environmental issues. Dozens chimed in with their approval and it was enough to get Jonathan Berman, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio to start beating the drum. Caroline Weinberg, a science writer and public health researcher who is chairing the march with Berman, told the Washington Post that news about gag orders on the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Agriculture 'lit a fire under us'. Although the march is in its early days, it has already mobilised website, a Facebook group, and a Twitter account, plus a Google form soliciting volunteers. The group said it will announce a date for the march sometime soon. You don’t have to be a scientist to march, however. According to the group’s website, anyone who 'believes in empirical science' is welcome to take part. 'That’s it,' it added unequivocally. 'That’s the only requirement.'
N ews 5 ancient civilisations that were destroyed by climate change The Ancestral Puebloans, also known as the 'Anasazi' by the Navajo, are one of the most famous examples of an ancient civilisation that collapsed due to climate change. Once dominant across the Colorado Plateau in places like Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde (pictured), the Ancestral Puebloans abandoned their distinctive homes sometime in the 12th and 13th centuries, and it's not completely understood why they left. There's evidence of warfare, human sacrifice and cannibalism, but many scientists speculate that devastating environmental changes caused by climate change are largely to blame. First established in the ninth century, Angkor Wat (ancient Cambodia) was once the world's largest pre-industrial urban centre. As the pride and joy of the powerful Khmer Empire, the city was famous for its immense wealth, opulent legacy of art and architecture and sophisticated network of waterways and reservoirs or barays that were optimised for storing summer monsoon waters. However, by the 15th century, the marvellous city had been laid to waste by ecological over-exploitation and a devastating water crisis caused by severe climatic fluctuations. While Christopher Columbus is often celebrated for being the first European to 'discover' North America, it's now widely accepted that Norse Vikings were way ahead of him by more than 500 years. While initial settlements on the southern tip of Greenland thrived for many years, they descended into decline starting around the 14th century. Scientists and historians have come up with several theories that speculate on the possible causes for the decline, though the overarching catalyst was likely the result of climate change as their arrival coincided with the Medieval Warm Period, which lasted from about 800 to 1200 AD and their demise coincided with a return to conditions at its end. Also known as the Harappan Civilisation (present day Pakistan), this Bronze Age society once boasted a population of more than five million and was notable for its highly detailed urban planning and water systems. Two major cities that belonged to this civilization â€“ Mohenjo-daro (pictured) and Harappa â€“ were first discovered and excavated in the 19th century. What led to their ruinous state? Two centuries of relentless drought. Scientists came to this conclusion after studying the layers of lake sediment from an ancient lake known as Kotla Dahar. The classic Maya collapse of the 8th and 9th centuries has captivated researchers for years. Although scholars are quick to point out that the Mayan civilisation didn't technically 'collapse', there's a great deal of mystery shrouding the abandonment of the Mayans' grand pyramids, palaces and observatories. There are numerous theories that attempt to explain what happened â€“ from epidemic diseases to foreign invasions. The leading theory, however, is that sudden climate change brought about an extremely severe 'megadrought' that lasted 200 years.
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GET YOUR FIX AT THE OXYGEN BAR
Algae-powered oxygen bars could be headed your way in the near future. Designer Adam Miklosi has created his Chlorella Pavilion, a futuristic, basket-shaped oxygen bar that uses the purifying power of algae to suck CO2 out of the air and rejuvenate it with oxygen. The structure is built with molded beech wood, and contains living algae pumped through the core and exterior of the pod in a swirling 'algae fountain'. Temporary visitors would get the chance to experience symbiosis with the algae, sharing with it their exhaled CO2, which the algae needs to survive, and breathing in the oxygen respired by the algae.
Click here for more info.
13 GREAT THINGS THAT HAPPENED IN 2016 Mary Jo DiLonardo, who writes about everything from health to parenting, recently blogged that 2016 indeed had its fair share of depressing factors. From nasty politics to heartbreaking celebrity deaths, terrorism to health scares, it's tough, she says, to look back on 2016 and find positive news, but good news is there and she has shared her thoughts.
For the full story click here.
THE EARTH HASN'T BEEN THIS HOT IN 125 000 YEARS According to a new report in Science Magazine, today’s ocean surface temperatures are comparable to those dating back 125 000 years. Jeremy Hoffman and colleagues at Oregon State University studied chemical clues in 104 seafloor sediment samples taken from areas around the world. By comparing the samples, they were able to create a picture of what the climate actually looked like 125 000 years ago. Scientists regularly look to the last interglacial period to model how Earth’s rising temperature will affect sea levels. Sea levels rose 20 to 30 feet above their current levels, and the average global sea surface temperatures at that time were almost identical to the 1995 to 2014 average temperatures, according to the researchers. According to Science News, this new information will help scientists improve predictions about how our oceans will respond to climate change. SOURCE
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C oncept N ews
FLOATING UFOs Founders Pierpaolo Lazzarini and Luca Solla said they designed their Unidentified Floating Object home for those who desire to 'live in a floating house and move slowly around the world'. With 100 square metres of space, the flying saucer-shaped home includes a main floor kitchen and living area, and lower level bathroom and bedroom. Large windows will offer stellar panoramic views â€“ underwater. Solar, wind, and water power propel the capsule so it functions entirely off the grid. A hydrojet on the bottom of the 'UFO' draws power from rooftop solar panels to transport the home, while wind and water turbines provide additional power. A water generator provides drinking water via collected rain and even sea water. Thereâ€™s also a vegetable garden on the rings surrounding the 'UFO', as well as a deck.
For more click here.
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UNDERWATER VILLA Dubai is offering the ultra-rich just that and more in these spectacular new floating villas with underwater master bedrooms. Created by the Kleindienst Group, the three-level luxury boathouses, called the Floating Seahorses, are the city’s latest lavish and futuristic developments. The gorgeous marine retreats aren’t just expensive eye-candy – the developers say the buildings are specially designed with high-quality marine-approved materials and will support marine life using artificial coral reefs. According to Quartz, the Seahorse homes are selling for $1.8m and are, despite the price tag, selling quite well. Of the 42 units that are being constructed, at least 35 have already been sold. The floating villas will be moored offshore from Kleindienst Group’s Heart of Europe development, a cluster of six islands in Dubai’s The World project.
For more click here.
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C oncept N ews
mérien French architect Jacques Rougerie has envisioned a giant floating city which bears a striking resemblance to a manta ray. He discusses his love for the ocean in an interview, where he calls himself a 'mérien', a term he coined which translates to 'one belonging to the sea'. His dream is for like-minded individuals to populate his City of Mériens, to conduct research on the surrounding ocean. The city would be completely self-sustaining, running on marine energy and producing no waste whatsoever. If the idea of a structure dedicated to understanding and caring for the oceanic environment isn’t enough, the fact that it is designed to have low to no impact on said environment is even more exciting.
For more click here.
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GREEN LIGHT FOR LUXURY FLOATING ISLANDS The World, Dubai’s artificial archipelago of over 300 islands, will soon be home to 33 luxury floating homes, each with its own garden, pool, and beach and tailor-made to the client’s tastes. Created as part of Oqyana World First, these private island homes were recently given the go-ahead by the Dubai-based government entity Nakheel. Architecture firm Waterstudio.NL collaborated with Jean-Michel Cousteau to design the floating islands, which will also be engineered to provide new underwater habitat for sea life. Designed in the shape of the seven continents, Dubai’s The World project covers an area of 931 hectares, measuring nine kilometres in width and seven kilometres in length. The luxury development includes residential islands, commercial areas with resorts, transit hubs for ferries, and a tourism zone. The islands range in size from 45 000-137 000m2.
For more click here.
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DESALINATI S G 16
The world is increasingly aware of the many areas where water shortages and droughts have already changed lives, with the just-broken four-year drought in California currently getting major coverage internationally, while many in sub-Saharan Africa are breathing a bit easier as heavy recent rains have broken or partly broken the intense drought which has been affecting our local region. In both instances though, and typical of accelerating climate change swings, the rains that have at least temporarily eased water shortages in some places have been unusually heavy and caused some severe flooding. Apart from the very significant part played by climate change in this scenario, it has been clear for decades that fresh water (water for households and industry) was becoming an increasingly scarce commodity, and alternative sources have been in ever-greater need.
Key to survival? 17 S G
n integral part of planning to mitigate the
anywhere where there is not enough is when that
effects of climate change is the ability
would require massive infrastructure projects such
to supply a burgeoning global and local
as laying major water pipelines through desert,
population with enough fresh water to be sustained and, ideally, support an increasing standard of living. While some countries are already in a significant
water-deficit situation, climate change resulting in
There are at least 10 competing processes to achieve
severe droughts has brought the possible longer –
desalination, but reverse osmosis is the dominant
term problems associated with water scarcity into
one, sometimes used in conjunction with others.
Reverse osmosis has been used for many years on
Traditionally, by far the most important water
small boats, yachts and submarines. The system uses
conservation technique has been the building of dams
a semi-permeable membrane and osmotic pressure
to make use of high river flows in the rainy season.
to separate salt and water, with the smaller water
Substantial opportunities still exist for damming,
molecules passing through the membrane and the
judging by the amount of water that flows into
larger salt molecules, bacteria and other matter being
the Atlantic and Indian Oceans out of South and
Southern African hinterlands. But dams have their own
Early desalination was achieved by boiling water
problems and whether by more dams, desalination or
and leaving impurities behind. This is very energy
the intensive promotion of water conservation – or
demanding and the process was refined to operate in
most likely a combination of all these measures – the
a vacuum, reducing the temperature at which water
inevitable droughts of the future must be planned for
boils, and so reducing energy usage. However, this
system was not useable on a small scale for yachts
The combined world's seas make up 97% of all
and ships, and the reverse osmosis technology was
water accessible on the surface of the planet, with
developed for both small and large-scale desalination.
fresh water constituting the remaining 3%. Glaciers
As an example, at least one US aircraft carrier uses
and icecaps cover 69% of the fresh water, and
nuclear power to desalinate over 88 000l of water
ground-water, rivers, swamps and lakes make up the
rest. It is not a surprise, then, that many countries, including South Africa, are water-scarce regions. The
result is that desalination has become a significant
Of the several other desalination systems operating
factor world-wide in the race to find sustainable
around the world, most are as yet small-scale,
fresh water reserves. Research and innovation in this
including a solar based system, but reverse osmosis
domain are therefore bound to follow.
with innovations such as pre-filtering, is the choice
Desalination & how it works Desalination is as it sounds – the process which
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mountainous or otherwise inaccessible places.
going forward for the major players. The latest trend is to use the heat generated by nuclear (in the case of the aircraft carrier cited above) and other low-cost
removes minerals from salt-rich saline water, to
energy sources (PV being the most obviously flexible
produce fresh, drinkable water. In this respect it is
and mobile, while also being modular in nature) to
one of the very few sources of fresh water that are
help to make the desalination more viable. This field
independent of rainfall. Even waste water re-cycling
is highly technical, and likely beyond most readers'
requires rain initially. So, once the technologies are
interest, so we won't try and make you all experts
operating at sustainable cost-efficiencies – the more
in this complex field here – but the web can readily
so that the significant energy required to separate
provide detail for anyone wanting to dig deeper.
salt from seawater is itself sustainable, low-cost and
Some far-thinking countries have already taken
derived from renewable resources like solar and wind
remedial action regarding their current or imminent
power – the more desalinisation will be set to be one
water scarcity issues via desalination, which is now
of the best long-term solutions to both global and
widely established as a large-scale supplier of fresh
local water-shortage problems for many regions.
water in some parts of the world. In South Africa,
About the only time that desalinisation could
water shortage has been topical for decades, but with
not, in theory at least, provide fresh water almost
large-scale desalination a new consideration has been
A desalination plant in Dubai
A desalination plant in Richard's Bay 19 S G
introduced and perhaps 40% of the population living within 100kms from the coast, (the distance generally considered to be viable for creating fresh water from seawater), a new option arises. With current technology and associated costs, clearly desalination is only an answer when other sources of fresh water are not available. However, with so many aspects of energy research producing breakthroughs, almost daily, the intense focus on desalination can be expected to produce its own innovations in the near future, the more so that the nettle of resolving water security issues is grasped by local, regional and national authorities. In South Africa, recycling of water is undertaken by most municipalities, and the savings in water is
Desalination is as it sounds â€“ the process which removes minerals from salt-rich saline water, to produce fresh, drinkable water. In this respect it is one of the very few sources of fresh water that are independent of rainfall. Even waste water re-cycling requires rain initially.
crucial in some areas. But so far South Africa has not embraced desalination in the same way as it
energy per cubic metre, with an electricity bill of over
(reluctantly initially, and perhaps still so in some
$50m annually. Desalinated water is very substantially
quarters) has gone down the renewable energy path.
more expensive to produce with current technologies,
2017 may well turn out to be the year desalination
including hybrid types, than re-cycled water, while
is taken more seriously in an increasing number of
recycled water is 10 times more costly than reservoir
countries, including this one.
water and only a little less expensive, on average, than
90% of its water requirements, so desalination will
There is already much international experience to
save that county money, despite its relatively high
fall back on. By 2015 there were 18 426 desalination
plants in 150 countries, producing 5.05bn lts daily
The same equation holds true more or less
for some 300 million people. The two largest are
wherever one goes, so the relationship between
at Ras-Al-Khairr in Saudi Arabia, and in San Diego.
cost and production of fresh water in terms of
Israel already produces 40% of its fresh water by
likely availability in various water-scarce zones will
desalination. South Africa stands 22nd of 26 countries
increasingly be driven by innovations that the reduce
involved in desalination, with the largest plant at
the overall cost per litre.
Mossel Bay producing a mere 15 000m3 daily. Ras-Al-Khair was the first of the seriously large-scale desalination plants which the world will need in the hotter, drier world of tomorrow. It produces 728m lts
One of the very best ways to do that is to produce locally the necessary energy to drive the various desalinisation methods in use or likely to be used. And not going down the costly and difficult
of fresh water daily. It is a hybrid plant which combines
multi-stage flashing with reverse osmosis. The plant
was commissioned in 2014 to produce water for 3.5 million people in Riyadh, and cost US$7.2bn.
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piping water from distant sources. San Diego imports
Evidence of this is the fact that overall economic growth in China is projected to almost certainly suffer
The Carlsbad California plant (better known as the
in the relative near future because of fresh water
San Diego County desalination plant) began planning
shortages. The Tianjin plant near Beijing produces
in 1993, but due to 'green' objections, only came on
fresh water for local populations, the power-plant and
stream in December 2015. It uses water from the
salt, all as an integrated system. Tianjin is China's
nearby Encina power station and supplies a minimum
largest desalination plant. It takes water from a
of 190 000 cubic metres daily via a 16km pipeline, but
nearby power station and produces 200â€‰ 000 cubic
this can be increased by 20% if required. It supplies
metres of fresh water daily. Technology is provided by
about 7% of San Diego County's requirement.
IDE, an Isreali desalination specialist outfit.
Water from the power station is pre-filtered before
The two Perth desalination plants, using a reverse
going through reverse osmosis. It uses 3.6kWh of
osmosis system to produce 140 000 cubic metres
of fresh water daily, use power-station waste water.
assessment of desalination projects is the usage
Energy for the desalination is provided by a wind
and cost of energy. A rate of 1kWh per cubic metre
farm of 48 turbines producing 80MW. This appears
has been achieved by reverse osmosis, and as low
to be, in essence, the kind of multi-technology 'green'
as 0.45kWh in trials. To put this energy usage into
application of sustainable and relatively low-cost
perspective, providing all domestic users in the US
desalinisation solution to our future and/or current
with desalinated water would use the same amount of
energy as is currently used by domestic refrigerators
The Mossel Bay desalination plant was initiated when the area was in the worst drought recorded in
in the US. However, domestic use of fresh water is a small part of total fresh water usage.
132 years. It cost R250m, produces 15 million litres
By far the greatest users of fresh water are
a day, and was financed by national government,
agriculture and manufacturing, with domestic use
the Mossel Bay Municipality and PetroSA. Ironically,
trailing a distant third almost everywhere in the
by the time the plant came on stream local dams
world. This reality sets the scene for a future world
were again full, and the plant was mothballed. But
in which water is treated appropriately as not merely
it may well be back in use soon, if things do not
the richest of all natural resources â€“ there is just
improve with regards to the Western Cape region's
no life at all without water â€“ but one that will carry
rapidly intensifying water shortage crisis which has
rewards for its careful use, re-use, production and
begun to reach drastic proportions with months to
conservation, and most probably, heavy penalties for
go before any winter rains of significance may come.
'water-gluttony' of any kind.
And without an excellent winter rainfall season,
This last point is a heavy and dark cloud hanging
which would in any case be only a temporary 'fix', the
over conventional mid-20th century to current
Western Cape's water management authorities, we are
industrial agro-industry water practices, which are
told, will almost certainly engage national government
inherently intensely wasteful.
and outside independent entities to deal with Cape Town's and its wider surrounds very serious and
But that is a question for consideration on another day an in another article than this one.
almost annual water crises.
Energy cost the key The
Further Information: Global Water Intelligence International Desalination Association
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D esalinisation AUSTRALIA PIONEERING WAVE-POWERED DESALINISATION Australian wave energy developer Carnegie Wave Energy has announced the world's first wave-powered seawater reverse osmosis desalination plant is now fully integrated and operational. The wave-powered desalination pilot plant is co-located with its Perth Wave Energy Project, on Garden island. While the desalination plant was originally running off the conventional electricity grid, the integration with the CETO wave energy power plant means the desalination plant is now able to run both off the grid and directly off hydraulic power provided by the wave energy power plant, or a combination of both. The CETO system is a wave energy solution which operates underwater, converting ocean wave energy into zero-emission electricity and desalinated water. Unlike conventional surface-type wave energy generators, submersion protects it from large storms. It is also invisible from the shore, and located in areas away from breaking waves and beach goers.
For the full story click here.
POTENTIAL TO PROVIDE THE MASSES CLEAN WATER Taking place every other year since 2010, the Land Art Generator Initiative has sought to provide 'a platform for innovative ways of thinking about what renewable energy generation looks like and how it relates to the overall fabric of our constructed and natural environments'. This year’s proposed solar-powered Pipe is perhaps the Initiative’s most incredible submission to date. Conceptualised by Khalili Engineers, the unique design – equal parts sculpture, machine and architectural project – is intended to float off the coast of Santa Monica to 'remind us about our dependence on water and about our need to appreciate and value this vital gift'' Best of all, Pipe utilizes a solar-powered electromagnetic filtration process to generate as much as 4.5 billion litres of clean drinking water from the salty Pacific. And the process not only desalinates the water, but removes impurities, too. Visitors can even soak in Pipe‘s thermal baths (12% salinity) while taking in panoramic views of the California coast.
For more click here.
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TWO BIRDS WITH ONE STONE When Khaled Moustafa looks at a beach, he doesn’t just see a place for sunning and surfing. The biologist at the National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts in Paris sees the future of farming. In the April issue of Trends in Biotechnology, Moustafa proposed that desalination could supply irrigation water to colossal floating farms. Self-sufficient floating farms could bring agriculture to arid coastal regions previously inhospitable to crops. The idea, while radical, isn’t too farfetched, given recent technological advancements, Moustafa says. Floating farms would lay anchor along coastlines and suck up seawater, he proposes. A solar panel–powered water desalination system would provide freshwater to rows of cucumbers, tomatoes or strawberries stacked like a big city high-rise inside a 'blue house' (that is, a floating greenhouse). For the full story click here.
COMBINING desalination and agriculture Just like The Pipe mentioned in the news snippet to the left, Alexandru Predonu, finalist of this year’s Land Art Generator Initiative competition, designed an elegant solution that uses solar energy to power a rotating desalination plant and farm that not only produces clean drinking water for the city of Santa Monica, but also food crops – including algae. His Ring Garden is capable of churning out 16 million gallons of clean water, 40 000 pounds of aeroponic crops, and 11 000 pounds of spirulina biomass for livestock feed. A desalination plant, rotating aeroponics farm, and algae bioreactor in one, Ring Garden is designed to 'harvest seawater, CO2, and the sun’s energy to create food, biomass, and fresh water,' according to Predonu’s design brief. The plant is powered by photovoltaic panels that produce 440MWh each year. All of that energy is used to power the desalination process and rotate the garden.
For more click here.
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W ater N ews 10 tech solutions to tap the world’s water supply Imaginative solutions from frugal innovations, doing more with less, those relying on replicating nature or biomimicry, all can help boost the Earth’s scarce freshwater resources.
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LOW-WATER WASHING MACHINE A washing machine uses a lot of water, so Sheffield-based company Xeros has developed a device that uses 80% less. It has replaced the liquid stuff with polymer beads. Each machine could potentially save more than a million litres of water over its lifetime.
AFFORDABLE WATER PUMP Some of the most frugal innovations make the greatest difference when it comes to water technology. KickStart design and sell very low-cost, human-powered irrigation pumps to poor farmers that use the power of legs or arms to pump up ground or river water to water crops.
PORTABLE WATER TREATMENT Swedish organisation Solvatten has developed a portable water treatment and heater system that gives access not just to safe drinking water, but also to hot water. It’s designed to be used by off-grid households in the developing world.
MICROBIAL FUEL CELL The fact is cleaning up wastewater is a power-hungry business, so Cambrian Innovation has developed what’s known as a microbial fuel cell, in which microbes pass electrons to and from electrodes. The wastewater is treated and electricity generated.
BIOMIMETICS Danish company Aquaporin has developed a ground-breaking technology that purifies water by mimicking nature. The company has developed a membrane that’s embedded with a protein found in all cells that allow living things to filter out pollutants and get clean water.
FOG HARVESTING In Chile's Atacama Desert it hasn’t rained for hundreds of years, but it does get plenty of fog. Poor communities here need freshwater to drink and irrigate crops, so they’ve developed large mesh fog collectors that use a fine polypropylene mesh that captures water-laden fog.
TURNING WAVES INTO FRESHWATER The SAROS desalination buoy is the brainchild of two graduates from the US University of North Carolina. Their device pressurises water and performs reverse osmosis to purify brine. It currently produces nearly 2 000l a day.
SUCKING WATER FROM THE AIR The WaterSeer relies on condensation and simple wind power to generate clean water from the atmosphere. It promises to generate up to 11 gallons of safe drinking water every day from thin air without the use of electricity or an external power source.
PURIFICATION STRAW LifeStraw is a plastic cigar-like straw that helps in removing potential pathogens, such as dysentery, typhoid and cholera, as well as other parasites from what would normally be undrinkable water. The portable filter uses a hollow-fibre micro-filtration technology.
HARVESTING ATMOSPHERIC WATER Italian designer Arturo Vittori and his team have created a water-catchment system that can produce potable water by harvesting dew, rain and mist using a unique tower structure.
BEST UNDERWATER PHOTOS OF 2016
The Ocean Art Photography competition is in its sixth year, and with each iteration, contestants seem to find new ways of capturing the alien beauty of life underwater. SOURCE
SOLAR PANELS TO PULL CLEAN WATER OUT OF AIR A new kind of solar panel is being tested in water-scarce regions of Ecuador, Jordan, and Mexico where the device, called Source, pulls moisture from the atmosphere to provide clean drinking water. Developed by the Arizona-based startup Zero Mass Water, the setup uses solar energy to produce potable water for a family of four or an entire hospital, depending on how many panels are in use. Last year, the company raised $7m to back a series of pilot programs to prove how simple and cost-effective access to clean water can be. For more click here.
RELIEF TO DAMS IN PARTS OF SA
Dams and rivers around South Africa have started to rise and flow over the past few weeks but authorities have said this amount still remains below average and we need to continue our efforts at saving water. While the Western Capeâ€™s water crisis still continues in anticipation of the winter rainfall, summer rainfall areas in the country have received much-needed rain since the start of the new year. In Limpopo, recently, videographer Heinrich Stofberg managed to capture on camera the very moment the Matlabas River started to fill up. Click the image, left, to watch.
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C over S tory
EMBRACING FORWARD THINKING
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A significant landholder in South Africa, Airports Company South Africa is actively driving a process which will enable it to unlock the commercial value of its strategically located properties around the country, generating non-aeronautical revenue, while providing meaningful opportunities for both property developers and potential tenants. We take a look.
FROM LEFT Zinhle Ntanzi David Wood Nonhlanhla Mayisela
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laying a key role in identifying, packaging and bringing these opportunities to market is experienced property developer and senior
manager of infrastructure and property development for Airports Company South Africa, Nonhlanhla Mayisela. With a background in commercial and industrial property development, Nonhlanhla, who joined Airports Company South Africa towards the end of 2016, has close to 14 years' experience in the property industry, of which the past 11 were spent at Investec Property, where she was involved in a number of development projects, commercial property acquisitions and disposals. 'In the past five years, a lot of groundwork has been done at Airports Company South Africa which has helped refine the property strategy,' she says. 'We are now perfectly positioned to start engaging with the market, having developed and packaged a clear and precise strategy with timelines set to bring projects to market. In so doing, we are actively driving this process with the right people in place internally in order to extract the maximum commercial value of our land, rather than waiting for the market to come and tell us what they want.' Mayisela says the objective is to unlock value the vast ACSA land holdings while balancing the commercial imperatives with ACSA's BBBEE
transformation goals. 'Traditionally the property industry has faced enormous challenges in terms of driving transformation. It's highly capital intensive and you've got to have deep pockets and own property in order be a key player in the industry.' Of the other challenges facing Airports Company South Africa in the property space, Nonhlanhla says: 'Many people see us simply as a company that charges tariffs to airline companies, but we comprise both an aeronautical and non-aeronautical business. ACSA owns and manages significant assets
has meant that airports have become important
and infrastructure which include approximately
retail, commercial and logistical hubs. While the
1000ha of commercial land Our objective is to grow
Ekurhuleni Aerotropolis is an Ekurhuleni Municipality
our non-aeronautical revenue to contribute over 50%
initiative, OR Tambo International Airport is a
to the Airports Company South Africa bottom line.'
vital catalyst in this development, where Airports
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Company South Africa has the opportunity to unlock
internationally popular over the last few years
considerable opportunities, while staying at the
because the reality in the property industry is that
forefront of airport development around the world.
there is a shortage of land, particularly zoned and
'As an integral part and key driver of the Ekurhuleni
serviced land that is strategically located. 'Airports
Aerotropolis vision, OR Tambo International Airport
used to be a place you were you just arrived or
has become a city in its own right, hosting sizeable
departed by plane. This shortage of property space
populations of travelers and workers. The airport
Playing a key role in identifying, packaging and bringing these opportunities to market is experienced property developer and senior manager of infrastructure and property development for Airports Company South Africa, Nonhlanhla Mayisela. With a background in commercial and industrial property development, Nonhlanhla, who joined Airports Company South Africa towards the end of 2016, has close to 14 yearsâ€™ experience in the property industry, of which the past 11 were spent at Investec Property, where she was involved in a number of development projects, commercial property acquisitions and disposals.
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has attracted business of every type â€“ including retail outlets, hotels, leisure and entertainment,
While their objective is to achieve
conference, convention and exhibition venues,
maximum value on all their land holdings,
office buildings, medical facilities and industrial,
Airports Company South Africa also
manufacturing and distribution complexes. As such, the airport is an important driver of local economic
believe that there is a way in which they
development,' comments Nonhlanhla.
can combine that goal with a model that
THE WESTERN PRECINCT
works and accommodates new entrants
Plans are in place to redevelop strategic portions
in the property development space.
of OR Tambo International Airport, with a number of development opportunities within and around the airport precinct. 'The project we are currently
a period of time far exceeds the upfront costs
focussing on is the redevelopment of the Western
incurred,' says Nonhlanhla.
Precinct open parking areas into a flagship mixed-use development,' says Nonhlanhla.
Company South Africa continues to analyse each
Having fine-tuned what the development for the
opportunity to determine where we can extract
Western Precinct will look like, the town planning
maximum value for shareholders. 'My mandate is to
process has commenced, so Airports Company
look at development opportunities to package and
South Africa is getting closer to being ready to go
bring to the market, with particular emphasis on
to market. The Western Precinct development will
providing clarity regarding Airports Company South
unlock approximately 180â€‰ 000m2 of bulk, which
Africa's role and strategy in terms of development.
will cover offices, retail, hotel and conferencing.
How we make those opportunities available is key,'
Mayisela explains that Airports Company South
Africa is trying to position itself not just as a
As far as the Western Precinct is concerned,
landowner that merely leases land to developers,
phase one entails getting the town planning and the
but also considers investment in the top structure
necessary infrastructure in place. As infrastructure
through different investment models. 'There are
development forms part of the master planning
various mechanics in terms of where we can get
for the airport, Airports Company South Africa has
involved in the development. As the landowners,
allocated a budget for the next financial year to
we ready to participate in the top structure
start with the work, to enable the first phase of the
development, although we may not necessarily drive
Western Precinct development to be kick-started in
the development,' she says.
the latter part of 2017.
The Western Precinct development will be driven
Airports Company South Africa is ready to
by sustainable design with the office buildings set
implement the full extent of this project, with the
in a green environment with inspiring open-plan
concept, drawings and preliminary numbers in
offices. The buildings will be orientated in such
place. 'We are also talking to a potential user of a
a manner that demonstrates resource efficiency
portion of offices, and have appointed a professional
and sustainable architecture. There is increased
team, so we are well on track,' says Nonhlanhla.
pressure from tenants of the on landlords to take into account green elements when designing
THE EASTERN PRECINCT
buildings with huge benefit to the tenants being
The Eastern Precinct is located on Atlas Road, with
the cost-savings as a result of the green initiatives
easy access via the R21, R24 and N12. Airports
implemented in the buildings. The Western Precinct
Company South Africa will be releasing around 80ha
development will take this into consideration and
of land, some with existing buildings, with plans for
position the development accordingly.
the space to be developed into an ideally-positioned
'Tenants now understand that while the capital
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Each development is unique and Airports
costs associated with constructing sustainable
'There is now a shortage of land available for
buildings affect initial rentals, the payback over
development in the East Rand. Our Eastern Precinct
land provides an opportunity for us to roll out a
Precinct development comes on stream in the third
considerable greenfields and brownfields industrial
quarter of 2017. From a planning perspective, the
development,' says Mayisela. 'We believe with
first phase is almost ready, with the environmental
everything to the west of OR Tambo International
authorisation in place..
Airport being pretty much fully-developed, with
Mayisela says that Airports Company South
just a few redevelopments to the likes of Isando,
Africa takes transformation very seriously: 'Whereas
Jet Park and Elandsfontein, the Eastern Precinct
previously we looked at each transaction based on a
is perfectly positioned to accommodate demand
certain structure, now we have clear transformation
for industrial space. Land prices further afield in
imperatives in terms of the property development
areas like Linbro Business Park and Longmeadow
opportunities we intend bringing onto the market.
Business Park are upwards of R1200 per square
We understand the current landscape of the property
metre for zoned, serviced industrial sites, which
industry and we believe that Airports Company
makes top developments expensive. In a changing
South Africa can become a key contributor towards
marketplace, the macro-dynamics dictate the ability
transformation in the industry. While our objective is
of a tenant to relocate and expand their business,
to achieve maximum value on all our land holdings,
with economic growth a key driver'.
we also believe that there is a way in which we
Mayisela believes that the location and availability
can combine that goal with a model that works
of bulk infrastructure in Airports Company South
and accommodates new entrants in the property
Africa's Eastern Precinct is a huge competitive
advantage. 'The availability and cost of servicing
Expect to see engagement from Airports Company
land is becoming more of a challenge with limited
South Africa in the market in 2017 to showcase this
availability of electricity and sufficient stormwater
strategy and the plans for development of these,
systems. In this regard our eastern precinct
and other property opportunities.
development can be rolled out quite quickly,' she says. Some 52ha in size, the first phase of the Eastern
For more info please visit www.airports.co.za
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Zinhle Ntanzi is the Senior Manager Infrastructure and Property Development responsible for East London and George Airports as well as Port Elizabeth, Bram Fischer and King Shaka International Airports. We find out more about her.
into consideration the local airport environment,
South Africa since 2010, one gains an
as well as what we can offer from a regional
economy perspective. 'As a parastatal, we need to
complexities of developing properties within the
ensure that the development opportunities that are
aviation space,' she says. 'The current airport
available at our locations can benefit not just the
environment is particularly challenging as we are
airport stakeholder, but the communities around
trying to increase the contribution to the bottom
the airports as well. Further to this, Airports
line of our non-core business - especially with the
Company South Africa is committed to ensuring
economic cycles that we experience. The competitive
that transformation of the property sector plays a
advantage we have is that our land and locations
huge role in who we engage with,' says Ntanzi.
offer property developers zoned and serviced land,
Ntanzi says that within the four airports in
connectivity to national roads and air as well as 24
her portfolio, there is approximately 67Ha of land
hour security within the airport precincts. These are
planned for development over the next five years,
the key opportunities that we need to sell to ensure
the bulk of which has been fully serviced and zoned.
the asset growth of our business.'
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George Airport is situated at the centre of
Strategically, Airports Company South Africa
the Garden Route and offers access to a range of
needs to ensure that we attract maximum value for
tourist attractions. The airport has development
our shareholders - which is why the uniqueness of
opportunities including a filling station and a
each development needs to be well-analyzed, taking
60-bed capacity hotel in the immediate term,
and a further 8Ha and 6Ha in Precincts 3 and 5 respectively. Development rights for the service station and hotel are already in place and these opportunities will form part of a national tender to be issued by Airports Company South Africa in the near future.. The airport will also offer increased connectivity in the future, once the George Western Bypass road
'As a parastatal, we need to ensure that the development opportunities that are available at our locations can benefit not just the airport stakeholder, but the communities around the airports as
has been completed, connecting the Oteniqua Pass
well. Further to this, Airports Company
to the N2, which runs past the airport. Precinct 3 could be considered for mixed commercial uses,
South Africa is committed to ensuring
logistics and warehousing. Precinct 5, adjacent to
that transformation of the property
the southern side of the R102, could be considered for general industrial activities. Bram
Bloemfontein is a key development node for the N8 corridor development. This major project, with
sector plays a huge role in who we engage with.' - Zinhle Ntanzi
several facets addressing various economic sectors, focuses on the development of the N8 national
These opportunities will also be offered to market
road as a development catalyst, linking the three
via a national tender process,' she says.
urban centres in the Mangaung Local Municipality
King Shaka International Airport is situated
(Bloemfontein, Botshabelo and Thaba Nchu) with
within the Dube Trade Port, with the Dube Trade
Maseru in neighboring Lesotho and Kimberley in the
Port Company (DTPC) owning and operating the
Northern Cape Province.
cargo terminal, trade zone, agrizone and an
'Bram Fischer International Airport has been
IT and communication platform on the site. In
one the most interesting projects that I have
2016, the Dube Trade Port was designated an
been involved in. Bloemfontein is the most central
Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) which will
location in South Africa and lies on the main
provide significant incentives for both foreign
road, rail and air links between north and south,
and international investors and put KZN's premier
east and west of the country,' says Ntanzi. 'This
logistics and manufacturing hub firmly on the path
connectivity lends its self to the city not only being
to sustained growth and development.
the economic hub of the Free State, but also one
'King Shaka International Airport has in the past
of the fastest-growing business hubs in South
couple of years attracted international flight routes
Africa. This equidistance accessibility opens a vast
from Doha, Istanbul and Ethiopia. Development
number of development opportunities, one of which
trends indicate that the city developments are
has seen the commencement of the first hospital
gravitating to the northern parts of the metro which
development located within an airport precinct'.
creates further development opportunities in the
The airport has an approved Development
locality of the airport,' says Ntanzi.
Framework Plan and to date Airports Company
King Shaka International Airport currently has
South Africa has fully serviced and partially zoned
11Ha of land available for development - 6Ha
approximately 30Ha of land in what has been
around the airport precinct and the further 5Ha
dubbed the 'Boulevard Precinct'.
situated at Dube City. Both areas are serviced and
'The Boulevard Precinct currently has 4Ha available
zoned within Special Zone 10, which permits usages
for immediate development for warehousing and
such as restaurants, shops, service industry and
commercial offices. The balance of the 30Ha current
parking garage developments, to name a few. These
awaits zoning approval for mixed use development
opportunities will also be included in the national
ranging from service stations, to showrooms, retail
tender to be issued to market.
and office developments, conference facilities and self-storage and light industrial developments.
For more info please visit www.airports.co.za
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province, Cape Town International Airport is the second-largest airport
in South Africa and recently passed the ten million passenger mark. Notably, international passenger traffic grew by 23% year-on-year, which is testimony to the global attractiveness of the Western Cape as a tourist destination. 'From
perspective, the airport's major advantage is that it is situated very centrally within the greater Cape Town metropolitan area and is encircled by four main arterial roads, namely the N1, N2, R300 and the M5,' says Wood. Through
Aviation Masterplan and a Development Framework process, certain precincts of land have been identified as surplus to aeronautical requirements, freeing them up for commercial development in this key transport hub. The undeveloped portion of Precinct 2 measures approximately 15 000m2 and is zoned for industrial and warehousing use. Service infrastructure is already installed and the precinct is available for immediate development.
approximately 14ha, with excellent road access and is ideal for warehousing and distribution. It is appropriately zoned, with
David Wood has worked for Airports Company South Africa for 20 years, and is a Chartered Surveyor (MRICS) by profession. He is responsible for overseeing the Airports Company South Africa infrastructure and property development portfolio, linked to Cape Town International Airport, together with Upington and Kimberley Airports. We find out more.
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service infrastructure partially installed, but ready for immediate development. 'The Airport Office Park development, situated at the entrance to the airport. The first phase of approximately 3 800m2 has recently been completed, and plans are in place to establish a further three phases, which will culminate in a 14 500m2 development,' says Wood. A
16 000m2 site,
minutes walking distance from the terminal buildings, has been zoned for a 180-bed hotel, with service installation already completed and development opportunity, immediate.
For more please visit www.airports.co.za
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Sectional Titles By specialising in providing affordable clean energy solutions to residential complexes and managing more roof-top solar power in Africa than any other provider, Zeroth is able to give you continued clean energy and offer you future expansions and battery upgrades, which will mean further savings. They do not sell solar panels; they simply give you easy access to cheaper, cleaner energy and take care of the system that supplies customers with renewable energy. How does it work? Zeroth's panels are mounted on common areas such as the roof to absorb as much energy from the sun as possible. Inverters then convert this energy into the same electricity your plug delivers. While this is happening, a meter sends reports to Zeroth regarding your usage and other information to make sure everything is running perfectly. The electrical panel distributes electricity to meet the complexâ€™s needs, while your utility provider continues to supply electricity that is generated by dirty fossil fuels and nuclear power. Because solar energy needs sunshine to generate electricity, it only works during daylight hours. You will still require your grid for electricity outside these hours.
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S uatainable Energy
Blowin' in the
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In the expanding terrain of sustainable energy for all, solar power has in the last few years taken an ever-more central place, and quite rightly too as new technologies like solar trough arrays have come on stream and the cost of high-out PV cells has plummeted. But this has meant that wind power, one of mankind's earliest renewable energy forms, has been left as something of the 'forgotten child' of the renewable energy revolution. Indeed, wind power has changed the world from one dependent on muscle power, human or animal, to one based on non-biological technology. The utilisation of this natural energy source, sometimes in amazing new ways, has led directly to the development of our modern world. Remember the windmills of Holland that made the European lowlands both arable and habitable, not to mention the era of sail and the windmill water pumps of the Karoo and many other dry places, keeping agriculture, farm animals and human occupants of such places alive, even in the midst of drought? This article is about putting perceptions around wind power back into perspective in the wider picture of achieving sustainable energy for all. Simply put, wind power plays and will continue to play a crucial role in the renewable energy production spectrum.
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orldwide, the conversion of wind
fast-moving jet airliners, though on take-off and
power to electricity was the leading
landing, when most bird-strikes occur, they are a
real and potentially very lethal hazard.
most of the last decade and half, but in the last two
But, as to wind turbines taking out large swathes
or three years, PV in particular has staged a massive
of birdlife, that's just a fantasy dreamed up by the
surge, and moved wind into second place. This does
nimbyists and other naysayers. It is true that some
not mean, however, that wind is down and out, with
birds are killed by turbine strike, but far fewer than
64gW added internationally in 2015 alone.
the doom-sayers had predicted, and certainly not
While wind generation can still claim to be
in any significant numbers that would represent a
inexpensive and good for mitigation against CO2
threat to the eco-balance of any area using even a
production and climate change, some of its practical
large number of turbines to produce energy.
and functional problems have started to become
So the question still hangs in the air, as it were,
clear. Servicing and repairs have turned out to be
about why the Brits are so nimbyish about wind
more costly and, in some instances, more frequent
turbines. The closest anyone seems to have come
and difficult than expected, particularly where
in this regard is that the British are overtly and
turbine towers are out at sea. This is especially true
deeply fond of their notions of the bucolic, tranquil
for the rough and demanding conditions of turbine
English countryside in which, it is evident, the
arrays in shallow water regions off the European
appearance over some distant hill of turbine blades
is equated by opponents – of whom there are many
In part, this has led to a rethink by the UK government which has led, in turn, to the cancellation
of subsidisation for British wind farms. But there is
Weirdly, these inclinations are even shared by
more to the British 'anti-wind' decision than the cost
people who, in principle at least, support wind and
and difficulty of refurbishment of existing turbines
other renewable forms of power – except, as the
– much of it is a manifestation of a peculiarly British
saying goes, not in their back yard.
social phenomenon, known colloquially as 'nimby' or 'not in my back yard'. The British seem especially
sensitive to the appearance, even at distance,
During a recent outing by Simply Green at the
of turbines moving at what seems a leisurely
invitation of SABMiller to see its 'better barley,
pace as their blades capture the passing wind's
better beer' research and production facilities in
energy, converting that into rotational motion which
the Boland, a swathe of seemingly slowly turning
produces electrical energy.
wind turbines peaking up over some nearby verdant
It is hard to find a solid and rational reason for this widespread British loathing of wind turbines – something that is almost completely absent almost everywhere else where turbines are being used.
hills appeared to those on that visit to add to the picturesque scenery, rather than detract from it. There is, as they say, no accounting for taste – and this example of very different reactions to much
In the UK there was, for a time, a supposedly
the same kind of picture in the UK versus SA around
'strong' argument that wind turbines would be 'bad'
wind farms amid the rural countryside demonstrates
for the natural environment, especially birds which,
the truth of that statement rather starkly.
it was wildly predicted, would die in their hundreds
Putting peculiar British sensibilities aside, wind
or thousands through inadvertent strikes from
power has proven itself to be more successful in
terms of average energy output of installed capacity
While it is true that at their tips large wind
per turbine than initially expected. A counterpoint
turbines are moving pretty swiftly, birds are
is that the need for extensive, expensive and
creatures of the air and are used to dealing
frequent refurbishment, especially in the gearing
with other moving objects, specifically threats like
mechanisms of large turbines, has turned out to be
raptors. They manage fairly well with cars – though
much higher in cost and longer in time, as well as
obviously some birds are killed in collisions with
more frequent, than expected.
cars. Thy even cope well, on the whole, with
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– to a fundamental violation to the 'natural order of
The result is that wind power production arrays
are in general usually lower in overall output over a given period of time than had been previously predicted and downtime is measurably higher. All this has pushed wind-generated power, depending in large measure on where that power is being generated, into a slightly higher cost bracket â€“ but not so high as to render it unfeasible. So the appetite among private investors in joint wind power projects on the local scene is hardly diminished. All factors taken into account, wind remains a viable option virtually everywhere it has been used extensively and there is every indication that it will and must continue to play a vital role in the mix of renewable energy options available to us at this point. Indeed, the future of wind power in South Africa could well be brighter than one might have thought during the tenure of former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe whose resignation after embarrassing revelations of his involvement in 'state capture' has re-opened the REIPPP process, as affirmed by President Jacob Zuma in his State of the Nation address recently. Locally, the major private sector operators are highly experienced and have significant technological backup. Financial institutions have been prepared to invest in the larger wind farms, creating a pathway on this front to wind's increasing role in power provision into SA's future. If sufficient sites can be found, and Eskom continues to support the wind turbine sector as a major factor in the renewable energy mix, the potential is significant.
Current production At present there are some 15 wind farms feeding into Eskom, varying from three turbines to 70. The most significant are Cookhouse (online since 2014) with 70 turbines and providing 139MW, Jeffreys Bay with 60 turbines and providing 138MW, and Gouda with 46 turbines, providing 138MW. Suppliers include Siemens, Vestas and Nordex. All indications are that with nuclear now widely considered by virtually all, with the notable exception of President Zuma and his coterie of 'yes-men and women', as being both unaffordable at an estimated R1tn and unnecessary â€“ SA is currently enjoying an excess of power production and, with new elements of Medupi and Kusile power stations due to come on stream, will continue to do so until sometime towards 2025, and perhaps beyond â€“ wind is almost certain to be utilised wherever conditions are most suitable.
The 'back-up question' There is no doubt then that, as in our history, wind and the power derived from it are certain to play a significant role
The future of wind power in South Africa could well be brighter than one might have thought during the tenure of former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe whose resignation after embarrassing revelations of his involvement in 'state capture' has re-opened the REIPPP process, as affirmed by President Jacob Zuma in his State of the Nation address recently. Locally, the major private sector operators are highly experienced and have significant technological backup. Financial institutions have been prepared to invest in the larger wind farms, creating a pathway on this front to wind's increasing role in power provision into SA's future.
in our collective energy future. But it is only fair to highlight
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an aspect of alternative or renewable energy which
of negotiations for new contracts with alternative or
remains a conundrum around what to do when
renewable energy suppliers was a possible indicator
both wind and sunlight are in short supply. In some
of the realisation of the extent of the backup
degree, there is something of a vacuum of reliable
data in this respect. Those in favour, for example, of
But events have subsequently shown that the
nuclear and other 'conventional' power production
backup issue played virtually no role at all in the
methods (gas and coal) claim renewables need as
Eskom-induced cessation of renewable projects
much as 90 or even 100% backup in non-renewable
from early in 2016 until Molefe's departure under a
production capacity. This is obviously non-renewable
cloud of suspicion.
(mostly nuclear) industry propaganda and factually
Still, that does not mean the backup issue
nonsense – it is hardly even imaginable that we
has simply gone away. Given a significant and
could be in a situation where there was so little
simultaneous reduction of wind and solar power,
sun and so little wind at the same time that all
what would we do and how much energy would we
renewable power production would halt.
need to suddenly produce, presumably from costly
There is simply no realistic scenario in which this can happen. And if it ever did it would mean we
There seems no clear answer to either aspect
all had much bigger problems than a mere lack of
of the question as yet. Some industry analysts
electricity for a short period of time – perhaps as a
suggest a minimum of 30% standby redundancy
consequence of something like what humanity faced
for existing renewable energy production is a 'safe'
when the Toba super-volcano detonated roughly
level, which it almost certainly is. But at that level,
75 000 years ago, blotting out the sun almost
the standby facility capital costs, combined with
completely for up to two years and very nearly
high running costs, make the entire renewable
putting an end to the human story.
programme here, or anywhere, highly questionable
On the other hand, it is possible that one could
on a cost-efficiency and long-term feasibility basis.
have a combination of much lower sun-derived
That becomes all the more true the more there is
energy in combination with a drop off, for hours to
reliance on renewables as part of any country's
maybe a day or two, of wind power – though that
power production backbone, or base grid supply.
specific combination of conditions would seem very
A more sensible number might be 10-15% and
to extremely rare in most locations where wind is
perhaps that's somewhere around where we will
being harvested or could be harvested for power.
eventually settle out, if for no other reason than the
Nonetheless, should there be such a combination
sheer cost of having so much standby generational
of environmental circumstances, some backup to
capacity doing little to nothing almost all the time
renewable power derived from wind and sun would
is not tenable.
have to be in place. The real question is how much, exactly – or even, roughly. Neither SA government sources (Eskom) nor
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to run open-cycle gas turbines?
Facts & figures A look at some of the facts and figures involved helps to clarify all this a little.
specialist energy experts have made any significant
So, for example, the average large wind turbine
effort to air this vital issue in a way that is fully
starts to generate at wind speeds of 4m per second,
satisfactory to all stakeholders and role-players.
or about 14km/h. As wind speed increases output
The government's announcement of its intention
increases, only getting to its rated output of about
to spend R50bn on two port facilities to import gas
2.3MW at 40km/h. At significantly higher speeds
has been, in effect, the only indication as to how
the turbine brakes and parks itself at 90 degrees to
thinking may be going on this front, which is toward
the wind. Obviously, wind conditions are seldom at
emergency gas turbine power production.
the perfect rate for optimal output, and even when
During the 2016 hiatus in progress towards the
they are, it's usually not for long as the wind speed
installation of more renewable energy projects in
is either rising to and beyond or falling below this
SA, under the baleful influence of the former Eskom
optimal level. There are very few places where the
CEO, there was some argument that the suspension
wind speed remains a near constant for much or
even a significant portion of the time, and in those places, it tends to blow either much more gently than is ideal or, alternatively, rather more fiercely than is optimal, or even, operationally safe. This is an unfortunate but inevitable problem in dealing with this naturally-produced energy resource. But variable winds have always been with us so long as we have been using the wind to do things like turn grindstones or drive sail ships or whatever – and we have adapted. No doubt improvements in technology will widen the optimal range of future turbines, and also increase the overall range of wind speeds that are strong enough to producing meaningful energy while enabling turbines to safely accommodate higher wind speeds than at current time.
Perspective For these reasons it is hard to know exactly where to pitch our overall wind energy requirement as part of our future energy mix such that we can supply sustainable energy for all and at affordable rates. And so the debate rages on. The advertising of one leading wind turbine manufacturer claims turbines, properly sited, will produce useable electricity 90% of the time. Location, time of year and other factors may prove that figure more or less accurate – or not – depending on many aspects. So generalisations such as that claim are not really very useful – local knowledge and specific conditions will always prevail when it comes to assessing the reliable output of wind energy production. To provide some perspective on all this, one international organisation has rated average wind turbines output at 36%, with PV farms at 26%. On the face of it, wind wins out. But it is not as clear-cut as that since PV farms, especially with the more sensitive and effective technologies coming online with respect to PV, are usually able to put out at least some energy (maybe reduced by 30-40% on heavily overcast days) under almost all daylight conditions. Compare that to whole days or even multiple days in succession during which, in some areas and times of the year, wind speeds are near zero or so low as to be effectively useless in energy production.
Combo answer Regardless of all the above it is Eskom which in SA carries the can for energy production and therefore for any renewable backup required. Wind turbine and PV companies are connected to the national grid, and are
Wind and solar will play a growing role in providing renewable and sustainable energy for all at affordable rates. This statement becomes all the more true as solar trough arrays begin to come on stream in greater numbers and in more places, here and abroad. This last-mentioned technology operates at very high efficiencies, can be put in place very quickly – a couple of years for concentrated solar power (CSP) trough arrays as opposed to a couple of decades for nuclear and coal stations – is essentially modular in nature, thereby taking strain out of the distribution network which claims 30% of the national power production just to move electricity from where it is produced to where it is needed, and is in both the short and long-term the least intrusive, the least costly and the most long-lived (in all probability) of all renewable systems.
paid for the electricity they provide, but it is Eskom which
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It will be a combination of old technologies, being coal and nuclear, which will be slowly phased out, and new renewables combined with backup technologies such as gas turbines, that will together provide us with the sustainable and affordable energy for all that is the requirement for this country to grow and to provide its citizens with what is both their need and right.
must provide quickly available power when these
opposed to a couple of decades for nuclear and coal
sources are reduced or fail.
stations â€“ is essentially modular in nature, thereby
So gas turbines, which very usefully can be
taking strain out of the distribution network which
brought up to operational speed in a short time,
claims 30% of the national power production just
albeit expensively so, will be with us as part of the
to move electricity from where it is produced to
necessary backup for current and future renewable
where it is needed, and is in both the short and
energy production. Time will no doubt tell more
long-term the least intrusive, the least costly and the
precisely how much that backup needs to be.
most long-lived (in all probability) of all renewable
In the meantime wind and solar will play a
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growing role in providing renewable and sustainable
In short, then, it will be a combination of old
energy for all at affordable rates. This statement
technologies, being coal and nuclear, which will be
becomes all the more true as solar trough arrays
slowly phased out, and new renewables combined
begin to come on stream in greater numbers and in
with backup technologies such as gas turbines, that
more places, here and abroad. This last-mentioned
will together provide us with the sustainable and
technology operates at very high efficiencies, can
affordable energy for all that is the requirement for
be put in place very quickly â€“ a couple of years for
this country to grow and to provide its citizens with
concentrated solar power (CSP) trough arrays as
what is both their need and right.
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E nergy N ews VICTORY IN SA’S FIRST CLIMATE CHANGE CASE The North Gauteng High Court has ruled in favour of environmental justice organisation Earthlife Africa Johannesburg (ELA), and referred the appeal against the environmental authorisation for a new coal-fired power station back to the Minister of Environmental Affairs on the basis that its climate change impacts had not properly been considered. In South Africa’s first climate change lawsuit,
(CER) on behalf of ELA, submitted comments
Molewa’s rejection of its appeal against the
on Thabametsi’s draft climate change impact
approval given to the proposed Thabametsi
assessment on 27 February 2017. The final
coal-fired power station in Limpopo. The approval
climate change impact assessment is due to be
was granted by the Department of Environmental
submitted to the DEA and made available for final
Affairs (DEA) even though there had been no
comprehensive assessment of the climate change impacts of this new coal-fired power station.
CER attorney Nicole Loser notes: 'A climate
change impact assessment requires far more than
The court ordered that the Minister reconsider
just an assessment of the proposed project’s
the appeal, now taking into account a full climate
greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change is
change impact assessment report, and all public
going to have significant impacts for South Africa’s
comments received. The judgement makes clear
water availability and will result in extreme weather
that the DEA and the Minister should have given
events such as floods and droughts. We are very
proper consideration to the climate change
relieved that the court has recognised the need for
impacts of the proposed coal-fired power station
an assessment of the power station’s contribution
before a decision could have been made to allow
and exposure to these impacts.'
it to go ahead.
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ELA challenged Environmental Affairs’ Minister
Lekalakala says: 'We now call upon the
Makoma Lekalakala of ELA says: 'We welcome
Minister to give full and proper consideration to
this judgement, which sends a strong message
Thabametsi’s climate change impacts – which the
to government and to all developers proposing
project’s environmental consultants have found
projects with potentially significant climate change
will be significant – in making a decision on
impacts in South Africa that permission cannot be
whether to uphold Earthlife’s appeal.'
given for such projects unless the climate change
Together with groundWork, ELA and the CER
impacts have been properly assessed. South Africa
form part of the Life After Coal/Impilo Ngaphandle
is a water-stressed country, and the Waterberg,
Kwamalahle campaign, which aims to discourage
where the power station would be located, is a
investment in new coal-fired power stations and
particularly water-stressed area. Climate impacts
mines, accelerate the retirement of SA’s coal
are a big deal for communities and farmers who
infrastructure, and enable a just transition to
depend on the limited water available.'
A Time-Lapse Map of Every Nuclear Explosion Since 1945 - by Isao Hashimoto
China orders a halt to over 100 coal-fired power plants While one US state works to support coal power by banning renewable energy, the Chinese government has ordered the closure of over 100 coal power plants in an effort to improve air quality and reduce fossil fuel use. Reuters reports that the plants’ combined capacity is over 100 gigawatts of power, and they’re worth a total of US$62b.
Dutch parliament votes to shut down all of the country’s coal plants
The Dutch parliament recently voted to shutter the nation’s coal industry in order to achieve a 55% cut in carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 – meeting the target set by the Paris climate deal. The vote would require shutting down the five coal power plants currently operating in the Netherlands, three of which just came online in 2015. This move will surely set a strong precedent among European nations for policies to slow the effects of climate change. SOURCE
Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) says Wind & solar energy could cost R90b less than nuclear According to research presented by the CSIR's centre manager for energy, Dr Tobias Bischof-Niemz, who was speaking at a public forum on the Department of Energy’s (DoE) Independent Resource Plan (IRP) held in Boksburg, renewables such as solar PV and wind energy would make up 34% of the carbon mix and 27% of the baseload mix. However, in its own revised scenario with the least cost and least constraints to renewables, the CSIR estimated cost of energy generation would be R490b.
For the full story click here.
Eco-Cooler: Grey Dhaka unveils world’s first zero-electricity air cooler made from plastic bottles
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As we all know, electricity and water cost a pretty penny these days in South Africa. It's time to stop paying bills by habit just to keep the lights on. After all, it is your hard-earned money. If you're using it, you're paying for it and so if you're wasting it, you are sure to be paying even more. But here is the good news, Johannesburg-based energy saving company Isiphiwo Fusion is here to help. Let's find out more.
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siphiwo Fusion prides itself in the innovation
consumption of businesses and likewise, the energy
and the quality of its products and services.
cost to business in making products & services
Their goal is to deliver economic benefit to
available to the market. With the rising costs of
both professional and non-professional users. In just
electricity, businesses and homes need solutions
eight years, they have archived significant growth
that can not only help them reduce the cost of
and harnessed their skills by leaps and bounds.
living, but also the cost of making a living.
Today, they have a team of certified professional
Switching to energy efficient lighting can save
energy managers and a customised product and
up to 10% of electric consumption in commercial
service offering that gives clients the best value for
sites and up to 5% in residential buildings. IS-Fusion
their money, at competitive prices. Their strategic
supplies a range of light bulb fittings from LED
partnerships also offer world class products to
down lighters to LED flood lights and low wattage
clients and expert engineering consultation. It is
fluorescent lamps. Accessories like motion sensors
their promise to help you discover the leaks in your
are also prescribed to maximize savings.
ship and set you off to smoother sailing.
Their showerhead products come standard with a three year warranty for guaranteed quality. Vandal resistant showerheads are available for public and
Find out where you are losing money and why?
industrial shower sites with a high density of users.
Efficient energy savings requires more than replacing
A special design allows a comfortable pressure to
old technologies with new technologies. It's time to
continue to flow while a very significant amount of
focus your resources wisely and attain full value
water and energy are being saved.
for your money. A site audit can identify quick
wins; these are changes than can be implemented
reliable today more than ever and has provided
immediately to save you energy, water and money
convenience; accuracy and excellent energy savings
without having to purchase any new technologies. A
all around the world. From ordinary homes to mega
full site audit will also help create a strong financial
factories, individuals can now manage their power
argument towards future investment returns from
consumption from their office desk and even the
energy and water efficiency projects. Investing in
palms of their hands. Isiphiwo Fusion distinguishes
energy savings is rated one of the most low risk and
itself by staying abreast with technology trends and
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providing, better and user-friendly management
today. Take a site audit, understand your building
systems for all consumer types.
and it's requirements.
Services & Products
For more info please click here.
Isiphiwo Fusion offers a variety of service and products that are tailored for the consumerâ€™s needs. As business evolves, IS-Fusion has focused on critical areas such as reducing the energy
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n e e r g
o t ow
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Many of us want to 'go green', especially in the home, but we don't always know where to start. Any journey begins with knowing your starting point and your destination. So first get a better understanding of what you're using. Set goals and then take action â€“ with help from the Green Building Council's guidelines below.
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he 'problem' with 'going green' at home or in
These two components of home consumption of
the workplace – or in any context in fact – is
resources represent the areas of greatest concern
these days seldom with the idea. It is the
and also where the greatest and easiest savings may
practicalities that lie in the nitty-gritty reality of daily
be made. In order to track their progress, meters
life where the 'going green demons' dwell. One of
were installed in the Ngwenya's home to keep tabs
the key problems for those who have understood
in detail on electricity and water use.
the necessity but have not begun the 'going green'
The family was also producing some 15kg of
journey in earnest is where to begin – there are just
waste a week, on average. They worked out that
so many things to be do and be done, both small
their annual electricity kWh size of their home
space was: 41kWh/m²/year. To reach this figure
Fortunately for those now engaged in more
the family took the total annual energy utilisation
conscious lifestyle changes is that there are many
of 8880kWh for the previous year, and divided that
people, companies and organisations that have not
by the 218m² house size – easy, really. It was just
only travelled down this the road before us, but
as easy to establish from these figures that each of
that, in some instances, are overtly playing the role
the four members of the family used an average of
2220kWh per year.
One such is the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA), who have gone so far as to give basic
guidelines for those wishing get on with cutting
How does your home compare? Is your home usage
back on their consumption, recycling their waste
more or less efficient? If you can answer those two
and reducing their carbon (and other) footprint on
questions with hard, real numbers, you are already
on your way to a greener home environment.
So there is no need to re-invent this particular 'wheel' from scratch – in fact, all the information
The Ngwenyas also measured their water usage per person in a similar fashion.
necessary to begin the 'green home' journey is
To see exactly how much they're using right
now, see the Ngewanas' real-time electricity (and
water usage) here.
Here are some basic first steps for starters – and
consumption levels, and, as they say, 'measure to
for those already engaged, most of whom will
manage'. If you want to save the most, figure out
already know this, 'going green' is a journey not a
where you use the most and tackle the biggest
destination, so whatever steps you have taken to
So step one is to investigate your own
If you don't 'know your numbers', then you
date, they are merely the foundation for what comes next.
can go to the My Green Home website to begin your journey into what your real family home
1Evaluate your consumption
It is critical to know, on any journey, where you are before launching off in any particular direction.
2 Useful tools
In this regard, with going green in the home you
Understanding the quantum of power, water or
simply have to know your current consumption
anything else being used may be the crucial jumping
(that is, of all consumables, including energy, water,
off point, but how, many ask. And what do terms
paper, glass, plastic and other materials) so that you
like kilowatt hour (kWh) actually mean? Here are
have a baseline from which to work.
The GBCSA gives the example, in this context,
costs and did an eco-audit at their home. Over the
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Understand your utility costs with this handy guide.
of the Ngewana family who analysed their utility •
What is a kilowatt hour and how much energy
preceding year, they used an average of 740kWh of
do my appliances use? Find out with Eskom's
electricity and about 45kl of water per month.
Guide to Appliance Energy Usage.
Evaluate your household energy consumption by conducting an eco-audit at home.
What is your home's kilowatt usage per year? Find out how to calculate your home's annual number in kWh/m².
How do your appliances measure up? Calculate their individual operating costs with Eskom's Energy Calculator.
Conduct a quick and easy energy audit of your home with Eskom's Comprehensive Energy Audit Calculator.
For a broader approach to living greener, you can start living in a more sustainable way with the help of The City of Cape Town's 'Smart Living Handbook'.
Recommended sites As we have said, there is no need to re-invent the 'going green' wheel these days as there are many resources, especially online, where one can enter into what may appear to be an intimidating arena of life with relative ease and simplicity. The following websites all supply useful tips, hints, information, techniques and tools to help you on your new green journey. Or, if you have already launched down this track and have covered some or most of the 'basics', then you will quickly see which next steps are applicable to you. •
Eskom's tips on managing your home's energy consumption.
The 49M Campaign spreads the light on countrywide power saving.
The City of Cape Town offers practical advice on how to save electricity, including Top Ten Ways to Save in your home.
Check out eThekwini Municipality's Shisa Solar progamme and equip your home with a solar water heater today.
3 Set your goals Once you have your numbers under control you are ready to begin setting targets and goals for significant reductions to save both resources and your pocket. Going back to the Ngewana family, after establishing their baseline energy usage, they aimed to save 15% with no-cost changes, and 40% with efficient equipment within a given period (a good timeline target in this regard would be about
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4-6 months), and to drop consumption into a lower
cost more than R1 000. Depending what you choose
tariff category (less than 600kWh per month, or
to do and what you can afford in this zone, return
15kWh per day).
on investment could run into a couple of years.
On the water front – ever more critical, despite
But with reducing solar water heater, PV and home
some heavy rains in the northern and eastern parts
turbine costs, either or both solar and wind power
of South Africa recently – they targeted a 20%
could drop your costs dramatically and set you on
water reduction, recycling 75% of their waste, and
a path of power independence or much reduced
aimed to ensure that at least 50% of their cleaning
products were 'eco-friendly'. You can click here to see if they achieved their goals and how they are making progress.
What each person can do is, firstly, realise that much of what they would like to achieve in terms of cutting costs and reducing their impact on energy
Set your own goals, with your family size and unique
and water consumption – the two most important
home set-up in mind. How far do you want to go?
'going green' areas in the home – are easily doable.
Remember there are steps within steps, so outlay
Do not be put off by words like 'eco audit' or
and cost may be easily controlled as you bring down
technical terms of water or power usage as these
usage – and the savings made can then be invested
are easily understood and explained on the various
in following steps which may cost something but
sites mentioned in this article.
will save even more. The three main approaches are:
In the case of the Ngewana family, they started
No cost: Change your habits only and save at
their green home journey by actively learning more
about energy efficiency and 'going green'. First,
Low cost: Buy products worth up to about
they developed efficient habits that don't cost a
R1 000 (installed cost), which can typically lift
cent. Then they were the lucky recipients of a major
savings up to about 30%. For many the return on
'retrofit' upgrade of their home. Once the house was
this investment will be apparent well within the 4-6
as efficient as possible, solar photovoltaic panels
month timeframe we are discussing.
were installed to generate renewable electricity,
Invest to save: For maximum savings of 50% or more, add 'highest impact' interventions which
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What you can do
thereby supplying some of their needs.
How can you start saving now? You can get going with the range of actions described below to start greening and saving now.
Install a solar water heater, or
A heat pump water heater.
These are the few things which will have the biggest
saving impact. They are classified according to cost,
Consumption when it comes to lighting (and other
and key 'saving areas'. Do what you can afford now,
power usage) in the home often comes down to a
and use the savings to invest in achieving more.
change of habit that costs nothing and saves a lot.
For maximum savings, the truth is that you'll need
Here are some no-cost options:
to invest in equipment. But it's a wise decision,
Switch your family on to switching off
lowering expenses, increasing the value of your
Let the sun shine in
home and for leaving the Earth in a better state for
When choosing interior paint, lighten up.
future generations too. Track your progress as you go, and share your journey.
Low-cost lighting options There are a number of really quite low-cost options
Be part of the journey Comment on this website, and share My Green
for lighting which don't imply a return to the 'dark ages' just to save on electricity. Try these:
Home with your family, friends, colleagues and
Replace your bulbs with LEDs
network. The following steps will expand on
Conserve cash and energy with CFLs (cheaper than LEDs but less cost-effective in the long run)
points made above and help guide to you to a much greener, much cheaper and generally much
Stay secure with motion-sensor lights outside
better home environment in which you can still be
Put light only where you need it.
comfortable, use modern utilities and facilities but have a much reduced impact on our dwindling or
Investing in lighting
If you are going to be renovating, building or simply are determined to drive down your lighting costs to
No Cost options for hot water
a minimum, you could consider:
Controlling cost inputs for hot water in the home is
Renovate to be LED-friendly
one of the crucial areas for possible reduction and
Let the sky light dark rooms with installed sky-lighting.
great savings – up to 40% of total electricity costs in some cases. For hot water cost savings, these steps are suggested:
Heating & cooling
Turn your geyser down to 55-60º
Temperature control in the hot summer and cold
Take a shorter shower (2mins should be fine)
winter are also major energy consumption issues.
Switch off the geyser when you go away or in
For no-cost options try these:
the hours in the day when no-one needs hot
a through-breeze by open windows at opposite
water, giving the geyser about 60-90mins to
ends/sides of the house
heat the water up prior to use.
Low cost options For low-cost hot water try these ideas:
Put your windows to work – when it's hot create
Dress for winter success when it's cold, rather than merely pushing up the thermostat
Give your air conditioner a winter job.
Install a low-flow shower head
Connect a timer to your geyser so that it only
Some low-cost options include:
heats water, say, early morning and for a couple
Put heat only where you need it
hours in the evening
Dodge the draft.
Keep your geyser and pipes snugly insulated.
Invest to save options
And some more costly but ultimately more effective steps include:
For options which may cost a bit but will certainly
Give your fireplace a window
save you quite a lot in the short to medium term and
Protect your home with adequate insulation
a great deal in the long run try:
Save in summer and winter with ceiling fans
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Allow summer's heat an escape route (maybe with a skylight that can open or ventilation in the roof or at roof level).
And there's more Beyond the steps outlined above, there are similar no, low and some cost actions to be taken with appliances, such as stove, fridge, tumble-drier (best not used at all if possible since it is an energy-hungry beast) and so on. Most such appliances have EU-certified energy ratings and you should pay
attention to these, along with price, when making your next purchasing decision. When it comes to water saving there are obvious steps along similar lines such as installing dual-flush toilets, buying a washing machine with a cool wash
When it comes to water saving there are obvious steps along similar lines such as installing dual-flush toilets, buying a washing machine with a cool wash capacity, and never leaves taps running unnecessarily such as when brushing teeth, keep showers short and baths very shallow (showering briefly is far more water-efficient).
capacity, and never leave taps running unnecessarily such as when brushing teeth, keep showers short
Cover your pool
and baths very shallow (showering briefly is far
Get on your bike and ride (or walk) to work, the
Waste & toxins
shops or the local park •
local ordinances, especially in water-stressed
Waste and household toxins present their own challenges but are relatively easily managed by
areas like the Western Cape •
taking some of the following steps:
When travelling try to use public transport and save, where possible and wise
Reduce, reuse and recycle – in the right order
Help the recyclers by separating your waste
Keep toxic anything out of your cupboards
Get clean without antibacterial soaps
Indigenise your garden with water-wise plants
Keep your biodegradables in the biosystem and
Grow your own organic food in your home
a low or nil set of wheels with respect to CO2 tax
out of landfills (where they tend to make the
garden – you'll be amazed how much you save
highly potent greenhouse gas methane, thereby
and how much better you and your family will
dangerous climate change) • •
Use microfibres instead of chemicals for
Ultimately, you should try to get most or even all your home energy for free using power generated by the sun: PV, solar water heater(s)
Go natural with your pest control – it's
and a wind turbine with, in the best of all cases,
doable and no more costly than using deadly
a battery array to store your daylight energy for
or your pets
feel when eating proper organic food •
insecticides that could harm you, your family •
If you use your car daily for your commute, make your sure your next vehicle purchase it is
contributing to global warming and costly and
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In the garden water wisely and according to
the nights. There are many more subsequent steps that you
Buy quality and keep it – no more replacing
can take to improve the energy, water and waste
appliances and such without the need
profile of your home and reduce the footprints of
Upgrade your tap water by using a proper filter
all three. These started and intermediate steps may
system that does not also denude your water of
inspire you too to become a serious 'green home'
necessary health-building minerals
enthusiast – and your every success will inspired
Don't work the pool pump overtime, or even
family, friends and neighbours to perhaps follow
more than absolutely when necessary – you may
suite, or at least see that greening the home is
be able to get away with a twice weekly clean
doable without huge effort and cost. In this way
but if not try for every second day
each and every one of us can contribute to a better,
Buy a variable-speed pool pump
greener future for all.
SMART ENERGY FOR YOUR
HOME Energy Partners Home Solutions Installation at Val de Vie Estate with Thin Film Panels
We would all like to use less electricity, be less dependent on the grid and reduce our environmental impact. Energy Partners Home Solutions are helping homeowners and small business owners achieve this by combining energy efficiency and Solar PV to optimise their home energy. Their systems are fully modular so you can start small and build up to complete independence over time. Let's take a closer look.
Energy Partners Home Solutions Installation at Val de Vie Estate with Thin Film Panels
nergy Partners Home Solutions launched
highest potential for solar energy generation in
in Cape Town in 2016 and has a proven
the world, with approximately 2â€‰ 500 hours of
record of reducing electricity costs for
sunshine per year. Yet there is still a relatively
homeowners. It has fast become one of the leading
small percentage of the country's residents who
residential and small commercial energy solutions
are actually taking advantage of this low-cost
company in the greater Western Cape and has
already started installation at a few houses in the Gauteng area.
'We are delighted to launch Energy Partners Home Solutions in Gauteng. Our focus is simple,
The company provides a full range of solar and
to bring cutting edge solutions to people's homes
energy saving solutions for the consumer market,
and small businesses to help them become
including the Energy Partners Home Solutions
energy independent. With the backing of a highly
ICON system, which incorporates energy efficiency,
experienced team of engineers and more than six
renewable generation and backup solutions to
years of achieving energy savings in the billions of
reduce a home's reliance on the grid by more than
Rands in the commercial sector, the natural next
50% and often up to 90%.
step was to bring these expertise and knowledge to
'Our solution enables home owners to take
the smaller consumer in South Africa who effectively
control of their energy, by supplying a set of reliable
pay the highest premium per unit of electricity
products that form a fully integrated home energy
purchased,' says James Chapman, who heads up
solution which combines lighting, water heating
the Gauteng division of Energy Partners Home
and renewable energy all effortlessly managed and
monitored from a simple app on your smartphone',
In addition to their range of products and
says Cala van der Westhuizen, Head of sales and
solutions, Energy Partners Home Solutions also
marketing for Energy Partners Home Solutions.
offers various financing options for homeowners
'South Africa is one of the countries with the
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The Energy Partners Home Solutions Icon Inverter and lithium
looking to reduce their energy spend. 'One of the
m ion battery
The Energy Partners Home Solutions Integrated Heat Pump & Storage Tank
only challenges that keep most homeowners from implementing smart energy solutions is the price. Any quality home solar solution is still prohibitively expensive for most consumers, with the cost ranging between R100 000 and R500 000,' Chapman says. He states that in response, Energy Partners Home Solutions developed financing options for their solutions and registered as an approved credit provider under the National Credit Act (NCA). 'Energy Partners has also developed a long term lease model, where you can simply lease the system
Home & Small Business Options Energy Solutions, in which JSE-listed PSG has a significant
for this Performance Lease Agreement (PLA) which
Chapman states that there has already been significant interest in the Gauteng region for solutions from Energy Partners Home Solutions. 'There is also a lot of scope for Energy Partners Home Solutions to provide services to small and medium enterprises and the Energy Partners Commercial Solar division is already in the initial stages of a large solar installation in Pretoria.'
home (or small business) a more energy-efficient place with much lower costs. The company offers three main options for optimising energy use in your home: •
Energy efficiency – replacing your old geyser and lights with the latest, most efficient technology
Solar PV – installing panels on your roof to generate your own electricity, at lower cost than
can have you go solar with a minimal capital expenditure.'
provide a full service to those who wish to make the
instead of having to pay for it upfront. Clients that qualify under certain criteria will also be eligible
products for both home and small business. They
you buy it from Eskom •
Battery storage – adding batteries to your system But do you need all that as a home owner? The
answer, says Energy Partners Home Solutions, is that the numbers speak for themselves. By combining energy efficiency and solar PV their system will give you much bigger savings, as well as pay for itself in half the time. You can always add components in stages – this is because their system is modular and
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can always be expanded upon.
hundreds of thousands of rands over their lifespan.
While a major energy-efficient home solution
There are also alternative payment solutions
may seem complex, it is actually quite easy when
available, such as leasing the system from the
carried out proficiently. The company has designed
company (meaning you save from day one), or
its process to make it simple for you, the home
deducting the system from your business' income
owner. When a consultation is requested, a home
energy adviser will assess your home and walk you
The cost and savings for systems on two typical
through every step of the process. Find out more
family homes are shown on the company's website
about the process here.
and can be studied by clicking here.
For more info click logo below
The biggest energy user in any home is heating water, which typically accounts for 40-50% of your bill. Energy Partners, therefore, replace your current geyser with a heat pump – a device that heats water just as effectively, while using only a third of the electricity of a normal geyser. See how it works here. They will also replace any of your old lights and downlighters with highly efficient LED lights. These use about a tenth of the energy of traditional light fittings and last 10 times longer. Find out more about LEDs here.
Self-generation A solar PV or photovoltaic system consists of two main elements – the panels on your roof that generate electricity, as well as an inverter that converts it into power your appliances can use. See more about our solar panels and inverters here.
The Energy Partners Home Solutions Integrated Heat Pump & Storage Tank with the Icon Inverter and lithium ion battery
The only sure way to avoid load shedding or other grid outages is to add a battery to your system. Batteries also increase your savings (financially and energy-wise) by storing extra energy generated during the day for use at night. Find out about our advanced lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries here.
Savings How much you can save, as well as how much your system would cost, will depend on many factors – like where your home or business is, your roof, the type of appliances you have and your tariff. In most cases, this company's systems save 50-80% on domestic electricity bills. These savings mean that the systems can pay themselves off quickly – typically in less than seven years – saving you
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The Energy Partners Home Solutions Thin Film Solar Panels installation in Camps Bay, Cape Town
Mother Nature Products have been proud manufacturers of great green baby products in Cape Town, South Africa, since 2006.
021 782 9117 â€˘ mothernatureproducts.co.za
ep st on to m so
n hi et
en Flooring is an interesting, and maybe challenging, aspect of modern living. There are so many options but how many of them are really 'green' in the sense that they have low-impact, are cost-effective, and hopefully recyclable, once their working lives are over? We take a look at some options.
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o you walk into a room and chances are,
design rather than make it feel like a 'government
unless you are an interior designer, architect
office' cheap throw-back to the 1940s, this is
or have some overt interest in flooring, you
not a final finish of choice for most people and
are not really going to notice the floors much. Floors
most spaces. Concrete, also has its upstream and
need to be functional, safe to walk on (not slippery)
downstream aspects with respect to sustainability,
and not ugly or hard on the eye or ear. Beyond that,
carbon footprint and all the other criteria we now
most folk simply don't think about flooring much
routinely apply to any end-use product, so if you
– look at the mass-produced, low-quality carpeting
are going to go the concrete (or equivalent) floor
in most offices to see what is meant by floors not
finish route, those aspects must be thoroughly
enjoying a more high profile when it comes to
investigated, especially for 'hidden' carbon and
considering eco and human-friendly options.
other costs to the environment. Concrete is also
One of the things hardly anyone thinks about is
completely recyclable, if nothing else, as fill for
that both hard and soft flooring can have immediate
other building projects, so none should go to
health impacts, especially when newly laid, on those
landfill or become loose rubble and useless waste.
using them. This is the case when either wood, wood-equivalent or carpeting is laid while volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are still outgassing from the material itself or from adhesives, where those are used.
Much greener options include both bamboo and, perhaps surprisingly, recycled rubber. Let's start
Indeed, while we hardly give flooring a serious
with bamboo, rapidly becoming an option of choice
thought when walking on it – unless it is ugly,
both in the home and in the office and other public
dangerous, noisy, or in some other manner unduly
attracting our attention – a lot of thought goes into flooring both once it is laid and, perhaps, after it is lifted in favour of something new.
Bamboo is quick-growing, tough and eminently
variable. It is almost the perfect green material as
There are so many options available today, from
material for applications in flooring but also
traditional hardwood and vinyl through to modern
furniture, wall panelling and many other finished
variants (which make a long list). Looking at
applications where hardwood would once have been
'traditional' flooring, long-board timbers are still
used. But it has, potentially, its own issues.
the bamboo can be compressed into a hardwood-like
available, as are hardwood parquet and panelling.
These include whether the bamboo being used
But while beautiful and hard-wearing, hardwoods
is grown, harvested and processed in the most eco
are increasingly rare and are often such floors find
and human-friendly manner possible. That much of
their origins in old-growth forests which really ought
the bamboo we are currently using for flooring and
not be touched, and certainly not for hardwood on
other applications is coming from China, it follows
our floors (or anywhere else for that matter).
that a detailed look at the sourcing and processing
Vinyl is vinyl – and is produced mostly by the
is required to establish whether the bamboo you
petro-chemical industry so there are some obvious
want to use has been properly resourced, preferably
issues there, both with the aesthetics as well as
with some form of international certification to that
durability and questions around proper usage of
effect such as that of the FSC equivalent.
our ultimately limited global oil reserves.
Also, any bamboo from anywhere outside of
So neither option, on the face of it, is likely to
where you live or where it is being laid as flooring
be 'green' in a meaningful way, though both can
will have carbon miles (or kilometres) attached to it.
and ought to be recycled if they are being lifted for
The more 'carbon kms', the less 'green' the product
is, overall. That cost has to be weighed against the
Concrete is another option and while it can be
costs of, say, hardwood flooring, which will also
coloured and, if used smartly, can enhance one's
likely have many carbon kms attached as well as the
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considerations of sustainable harvesting raised earlier. Beyond these issues, though, bamboo is certainly one of the greenest and best materials around today, especially for floors. They are quick to lay, come in many varieties, shades and hues and are, on the whole, simply beautiful while being light on your conscience.
Another greener choice is recycled rubber flooring. Rubber for flooring isn't necessarily an obvious choice â€“ maybe for the little kiddies' playroom but hardly the first thought when it comes to, say, an office floor. But that viewpoint may be out-dated and not taking into account what has happened on the rubber materials front. Also, recycled anything is already a positive for the end user as far as 'green' materials are concerned. Rubber is obviously a natural and renewable material, but care must also be taken to ensure that first use comes from sustainable resources â€“ not recently pristine jungle cleared for rubber plantations, for example. But once used and recycled, it already has a vastly greener profile. One local manufacturer of recycled rubber flooring is Envirobuild, KwaZulu-Natal's first manufacturer of eco-friendly rubber flooring for commercial, industrial and residential use. This company has an extensive range of rubber paving tiles and bricks made from recycled truck tyres. But their floors, once laid, do not look like bits of truck tyres all stuck together â€“ anything but. A joint venture between entrepreneur Jaco Snyman, carpeting and flooring giant Van Dyck and Hammarsdale-based Mathe Group, Envirobuild produces a high-quality product that is suitable for both the local market and export. Snyman, managing director of Envirobuild, says that the products, which include 93% recycled materials, are a perfect fit with increasing demand for greener flooring options. Internationally, architects, interior designers and the construction industry are under pressure to meet their clients' sustainable building requirements in order to ensure green building certifications. 'There is very little high quality flooring of this nature produced locally (in South Africa) so there is definitely a market for it. We are the first company to produce eco-friendly rubber flooring in KwaZulu-Natal and one of very few in South Africa,' he said. A wide variety of flooring products, including rubber paving bricks (200mm x 100mm), Dog Bone paving bricks (200mm x 100mm), rubber paving tiles (500mm x 500mm), a twin brick pattern tile (1000mm x 1000mm) and an interlocking tile (1012mm x 1012mm) will be manufactured Continued on pg 68
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Innovative Recycled Rubber Solutions
Problem: Approximately 160 000 tons of rubber tyres are discarded every year. Currently most of these go into landfill sites or is simply burnt. This results in a very negative impact on the environment.
Solution: EnviroBuild turns this problem into innovative new products for re-use. All EnviroBuild products are 100% recyclable at end of life. This solution has been proven in Canada and America.
INNOVATIVE PRODUCTS FROM RECYCLED RUBBER TYRES Inter-linking I-Mat A large 1012mmx1012mmx 15/20/35mm mat that inter links to create a strong uniform surface for pedestrian and light vehicle traffic. Perfect for driveways, playgrounds, walkways, around shopping centres, hospitals, etc. Advantage: Save on installation time by laying down 0.7m² at a time in an interlinked pattern – save about 80% on labour cost.
1m x 1m Twin-Brick Floor Tile A 1000mm x 1000mm, 20/35 mm thick tile that is durable enough for garages, workshops and gym floors. Decorated with different patterns: Brick pattern, Circular pattern.
Safe&Soft Range for play areas Both the above products come in a reduced density range (in 20mm, 35mm and 50mm) giving a much more forgiving and softer surface for use around jungle gyms, play areas, trampolines, etc. These parts have been specifically developed to adhere to the SANS requirements for playground safety. .
www.envirobuild.co.za • www.vandyckcarpets.com firstname.lastname@example.org • Tel: 031 913 3800 All EnviroBuild products are manufactured by Van Dyck, a trusted name in interior and exterior flooring since 1948. Van Dyck is a market leader and synonymous with Quality and Style.
Rubber flooring is suitable for a wide range of applications. It absorbs impact and cushions falls, making it ideal for use in play areas, schools and retirement facilities. Together with increased grip, this also makes rubber flooring particularly suitable for use in gyms, dance studios and sporting facilities. It is also ideal for use around swimming pools and wet areas such as saunas and jacuzzis. at Van Dyck's factory. They are available in a variety of thicknesses – from 13mm to 38mm for the paving tiles and from 20mm to 50mm for the bricks – and colours, including black, rust, green and speckled. The main component of Envirobuild flooring is rubber crumb that is sourced from the Mathe Group. Managing director of Van Dyck, Dr Mehran Zarrebini, said the collaboration between the partners was exciting as there were significant synergies. Van Dyck produces rubber-based acoustic cradles and underlays for commercial carpeting and sporting applications while Mathe are a well-established tyre recycler. This particular flooring solution has another upside – getting rid of waste tyres. South Africa is currently dealing with a major environmental challenge as it works to recycle 60 million waste truck tyres that have piled up over the years. An estimated 10 million truck tyres more are added to this existing pile each year. Rubber flooring is suitable for a wide range of applications. It absorbs impact and cushions falls, making it ideal for use in play areas, schools and retirement facilities. Together with increased grip, this also makes rubber flooring particularly suitable for use in gyms, dance studios and sporting facilities. It is also ideal for use around swimming pools and wet areas such as saunas and jacuzzis. Rubber flooring is also suitable for industry and warehousing as it is able to withstand impacts as well as high footfall and the movement of heavy equipment such as hoists and fork lifts. These products are low maintenance and durable and are quick and easy to lay. Because rubber bricks are much lighter than brick or concrete paving and some products come in sheets, they can be laid more quickly and easily with the added bonus of far less breakage, with concurrent costs. In addition, they are easy to lift and replace should repairs to water pipes or under-floor cabling be necessary. Rubber paving is ideal for slopes where there is the risk of moving ground and the need for increased flexibility to mould to the shape of the surface. So when you next have to think about flooring, look at the products mentioned above and maybe think a little outside the traditional box for something more sustainable and ultimately 'greener'.
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all our published s online here
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Innovative Products Passionate People Expand Your Future
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A Complete Swimming Pool Maintenance and Repairs Service Offering in Cape Town Here at Pool King we take pride in our work specializing in all types of swimming pool related needs, whether you are looking for a full swimming pool make over or a simple day to day pool maintenance plan. We are sure to offer you the best in all service aspects, pool maintenance, reliable sourced products and cost effective plans to keep your home or company's pool blue and hassle free for the seasons. With our 15 years experience and knowledge, we are able to assist you with all your needs. We are Cape Town’s pool specialists. We offer a wide range of swimming pool services and products to help keep your pool healthy, clean and durable through out the seasons guaranteed.
Natural Swimming Pools, or Eco Pools are the environmentally friendly alternative to conventional swimming pools. Instead of using chemicals or salt, Eco Pools are designed to function as balanced ecosystems. The plants are contained in an aquatic garden which can be constructed next to the pool or displayed as a water feature in another part of the garden and linked to the pool. Maintaining an Eco Pool is really just like maintaining a garden, but needs even less maintenance. Because the filtration process is slow and gentle, Eco Pools use very small pumps and therefore much less electricity than conventional pools.
WaterGuard Waterguard is a unique liquid which spreads over the surface of water to form a very thin film and reduce evaporation. Many people familiar with Aquatain, the first silicone-based liquid for evaporation control, but WaterGuard is a new, improved formulation manufactured by Aquatain Products Pty Ltd which is even more effective and more economical for reducing evaporation from farm dams, reservoirs and pools.
Pool installations | Pool Renovations | Salt Chlorinators | Sand Changes Pumps, filters & Solar installations | Paving | Weekly maintenance | Pump Repairs
www.poolking.co.za • 079 578 0180 • email@example.com • Cape Town
For more information on our monthly service and rates please view our Maintenance Form here.
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The recent trend towards vertical gardening is becoming increasingly widespread as gardeners channel their inspiration to new heights of creativity. No longer limited to the ground underneath our feet, gardens are taking shape in a range of unique directions, from repurposing of old furniture into planters to transforming birdhouses and teapots into thriving miniature garden spaces. Gone are the days of strict garden designs. Today vertical garden ideas are about showcasing the textures, colours and vibrancy of plants in fresh, new ways. More than that, though, they are making enormous headway in the office environment â€“ where floorspace is at a premium â€“ and doing so both indoors and outdoors. We take a look.
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hile not limited to small spaces, vertical gardens are ideally suited to these areas because they offer the
ability to maximise space artfully and efficiently. Creating a vertical garden can be as simple or complex as desired; gardeners are only limited by one's imagination. It is also essential to take growing conditions into account when choosing plant species. With the advent of the office-based vertical garden, with all its eco advantages and human
emergent new businesses which specialise in all aspects of integrating a vertical garden with either the exterior of a building, much enhancing its visual appeal, or its interior, much improving working conditions and productivity. Each office or office building will have its own unique requirements so getting into what to put where in theory is rather less than useful – it takes specialists on the spot to extract the maximum benefit to be derived. For the home vertical gardener, the rules are much simpler – a PVC sheet to act as a barrier and felt carpet padding serving as the medium to keep your plants in place and an excellent material to hold water while resisting rotting. Not so much for the business or office vertical garden where professional inputs really are required – if for no
are putting one up on the outside of a building there
other reason than to avoid water intrusion and a
are obviously going to be some serious technical
range of other technical issues which can arise if
issues and engineering requirements to be resolved.
not done properly.
What is a 'vertical garden' anyway?
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Internal office vertical walls may be slightly less problematic – one is unlikely, for example, to have to deal with the combined weight of plants, water, growing medium and underlying infrastructural
Vertical gardening is nothing more than using vertical
support for all that, from top to bottom storey. More
space to grow vegetables (or herbs, or flowers,
probably, with an internal vertical garden, one may
even root crops – or in the office environment,
be dealing with one to at most three or perhaps four
oxygen-generating visually attractive vertical design
storeys for large indoor atria.
elements). At home, you can hang a container on a
But wherever they are installed, vertical gardens
garden wall, make a few tweaks and away you go; in
have certain virtues which have not been fully
the office that's just a bad idea.
appreciated until recent years, not least being that
Actually, vertical gardens are far from new
they take up less space, are easier to harvest (if
(they may well go back thousands of years to the
one is growing edibles, against which there is no
famous hanging gardens of Babylon) with traditional
good argument even in the office environment), and
gardeners having grown climbing plants like
easier to maintain. However, they do have their own
squashes and beans for centuries, using trellises.
Vertical gardening takes it one step further by
You need sunny wall space – that can come
giving non-climbing plants a space on the wall. But
directly or through sufficiently large apertures
whatever you are growing in a vertical garden, if you
in office buildings.
Vertical gardening is nothing more than using vertical space to grow vegetables, herbs, flowers and even root crops – or in the office environment, oxygen-generating visually attractive vertical design elements. through the feeling of being close to nature. They also absorb some sound and help with noise diffraction, improving the acoustics in any space. Plants photosynthesise and release oxygen into the air, and act as bio-filters for impurities and one constantly drawing down on exhaled and other sources of CO2.
Options Many different options are available to choose from nowadays such as tray systems, panel systems, casette systems, gutter systems, recycled bottle systems and there are even moss systems. That is to name but some in use – literally the options available •
If they are built too high, they can be difficult to
are subject mainly to the limitations of one's
maintain. Don't make them taller than you can
imagination, engineering and water-containment
reach, unless there is provision for safe access
issues having been properly dealt with.
from a stable infrastructure element. • •
Most systems are soil-based, which substantially
The support system must be strong enough to
reduces maintenance compared to the alternative
handle the weight of everything.
hydroponic vertical garden. The reason for this
The supporting wall must be able to withstand
is that the water is stored in the soil for a longer
a lot of moisture. You can use polyethylene
period of time. The soil also ensures longevity of
cloth to create a vapour barrier along the back
the plants, should there be any system failures. But
of the wall behind the plants, but this is not an
there are pros and cons either way in any given set
area for short cuts or 'winging it' – that kind of
of circumstances and so it to the professionals that
approach may end being very costly.
one is advised to look when it comes to external or
Forgiving & flexible The reservations having been made about doing vertical gardens 'right', they are also among the most forgiving and flexible gardening systems, whether with home-grown or a major feature, indoor or out, of a large office structure.
Wellness benefits Plants improve the well-being and mood of people
internal vertical gardens in the office space.
What are the benefits of having 'green walls' in our cities and office complexes? They: •
Reduce urban heat island effect and smog
Clean outside air of pollutants and dust and offset the carbon footprint of people and fuel emissions
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Clean interior air space by removing VOCs and other harmful toxins like benzene and formaldehyde
Act as a sound proofing barrier
Provide naturally filtered water with both soil and plants filtering out contaminants and particulants
Insulate and cool the building envelope, as well as protecting it from the elements
Create habitats for birds and beneficial insects, increasing biodiversity
Can be used for growing food in urban settings, creating sustainable and local control of food sources
Increase real estate value
Increase foot traffic in retail spaces
Speed recovery time for patients in medical contexts through biophilia (the scientifically demonstrated positive effects of plants on human beings)
photosynthesis, trapping particulate matter, and
Help children with ADHD focus better in school
capturing gases. The ability of green walls to
Reduce absenteeism in the workplace and
provide thermal insulation for buildings means less
boost employee morale
demand on power, and as a result fewer polluting by-products are released into the air.
Aesthetic improvements Beyond the above listed positives one may add
Local job creation
that 'green' walls can reclaim disregarded space by
Green walls draw upon several disciplines for
providing aesthetic stimulation where it would not
their design, installation and maintenance – such
otherwise be found. They can also serve to create
privacy and a sense of enclosure while limiting
consultants, and more. They stimulate demand for
the negative psychological effects associated with
a local supply of plant materials, blended growing
'property' or space demarcation, especially in the
media, greenhouse production, and fabrication of
office context where space optimisation gives each
structural frames creates further business activity.
person a limited 'personal space' experience.
Improved energy efficiency
Reduction of the urban heat island effect The
Green walls can reduce the temperature fluctuations at a wall's surface from a range of 10-60ºC to one urban
of 5-30ºC, in turn limiting the movement of heat
environments promotes the occurrence of natural
between building walls (Minke 1982). They cause
cooling processes, such as photosynthesis and
this reduction by:
evapotranspiration. With strategic placement of
Trapping a layer of air within the plant mass.
green walls, plants can create enough turbulence to
break vertical airflow, which slows and cools down the air (Peck et al. 1999).
evapo-transpiration and shading. •
Creating a buffer against wind during winter months.
Improved exterior air quality
temperature around intake valves, which means
Green walls mitigate air pollution levels by
HVAC units will require less energy to cool air before
lowering extreme summer temperatures through
being circulated around a building.
Green walls can also help lower the air
Continued on pg 92
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Buildings that feature and promote access to vegetation have been documented as having a greater positive human health impact than those without
Green walls are an easily identifiable symbol of the green building movement since they are visible and directly impact the amount of green space in urban centres.
Design-specific benefits Increased biodiversity is the first and most obvious
Building structure protection
of biodiversity due to the effects of urbanisation, help sustain a variety of plants, pollinators and
Temperature fluctuations over a building's lifetime
invertebrates, and provide habitat and nesting
can be damaging to organic construction materials in
places for various bird species.
building faรงades. Green walls provide an additional fluctuations. Green walls protect exterior finishes
Improved health & wellbeing
and masonry from UV radiation and rain. They can
Buildings that feature and promote access to
also increase the seal or air tightness of doors,
vegetation have been documented as having a
windows, and cladding by decreasing the effect of
greater positive human health impact than those
wind pressure (Peck et al. 1999).
without (Honeyman 1987). Studies have shown that
layer of exterior insulation and thereby limit thermal
Improved indoor air quality
visual access to natural settings leads to increased job satisfaction and productivity (Kaplan 2001) and
Most urbanised people spend 80-90% of their time
post-operative recovery rates in medical facilities
indoors (Jenkins et al. 1992) and as a result are
highly influenced by the effectiveness of interior air circulation systems. It has been estimated that
problems associated with poor indoor air quality
Green walls offer the opportunity for urban
negatively affect workplace production by $60b per
agriculture, such as vertical gardens of small fruits,
year in the United States alone (Reitze 1998).
vegetables, and herbs. Imagine the effect on your
Air that has been circulated throughout a
staff if they are free to pick some juicy or fresh
building with a strategically placed green wall (such
veggie, right off the plant or via some in-house
as near an air intake valve) will be cleaner than
that on an uncovered building. The presence of vegetation indoors will have the same effect. These processes remove airborne pollutants
Onsite wastewater treatment
such as toluene, ethyl benzene, xylene, and other
Several water-recycling systems can be applied
volatile organic compounds.
to green walls. These systems pump grey water
through a green wall, which then passes through filters, gravel, and marine plants. Treated water
The vegetated surface provided by strategic urban
is then sent to a grey water holding tank for
greenery such as green walls and roofs will block
household or irrigation use or released into the
high frequency sounds, and when constructed
public water treatment system (Shirley-Smith 2006).
with a substrate or growing medium support can
Some systems also collect storm-water, which is
also block low-frequency noises. For over 30 years
filtered for subsequent use such as irrigation
plant life has been used to this end along freeways,
arterials, and rail lines in North America and Europe.
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aspect here. Green walls can help mitigate loss
With all the positives going for green living walls, don't be surprised to see our cities and urban centres over the next several years literally begin
Green buildings, products, and services now
to sprout beautiful and eye-resting exterior and
possess a competitive edge in the marketplace.
interior growing walls.
INTERIOR PLANTSCAPING INSTALLATION, MAINTENANCE AND RE-VAMPING EXISTING LAYOUTS Life Green Group employs in excess of 1 200 staff across its branches in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Pretoria. We are operational in all nine provinces and have worked in most SADC countries. Life Green Group acknowledge that climate change is having a massive impact on the environment. We therefore aim to promote xeriscaping and naturescaping on our sites and we urge our clients to practise sustainable gardening methods.
ur o y get wall n e e r g y toda
Benefits of Interior Greenwalls • Greening your building • Visual support for enhanced brand value and corporate identity • On-trend design and visual appeal for employees and visitors • Physical and emotional benefits from thriving plant life (filtered and cleaner air, eliminating germs, odours and harmful pollutants) • Stress reduction and enhanced productivity in employees • Building insulation • Cost-effective landscaping • Smart use of limited space • Especially effective in designated smoking areas
Branch information Johannesburg: 011 959 1000 Cape Town: 021 850 0764 Pretoria: 012 644 2152 Divisional Manager: Leanne@lifeindoors.co.za
E co H ealth
South Africans are being 'systematically poisoned' & mass human rights violations alleged
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Following a complaint by several parties and interest groups, the SA Human Rights Commission, a Chapter 9 Constitutional institution similar to the Public Protector, has undertaken to conduct a national consultative process involving all role-players, stakeholders and interested parties in the commercial production of genetically modified foods (GMOs) and the use with them of glyphosate, the herbicide which GMOs are designed to be immune to but which the World Health Organisation (WHO) has described as a 'probabe human carcinogen'. The implications for agro-industry where GMOs play a major role are far-reaching, not just in South African terms, but globally. This is the first case in the world where the extremely wealthy and powerful GM industry is being taken on for alleged human rights abuses which, according to one complainant that has approached the HRC on these issues, go so far as constituting 'possible crimes against humanity'. What follows is the definitive state of play with regards to a situation in which almost literally every single person in South Africa is unknowingly building up toxic levels of glyphosate â€“ along with other possible health and eco-implications that go with the cultivation of GMOs â€“ without the great majority of citizens even being aware of the likely health risks at stake.
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re South Africans being systematically poisoned?' you may ask in response to the headline of this article. Simply
Green is in a position to posit an equally alarming answer: 'Yes, they almost certainly are.' Worse than that, the situation which has been allowed to develop, initially by officials in the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), with
secondary 'support' from watchdog and health oversight officials in the Department of Health (DoH), is all being done with the nod of approval from the government. On the face of it, the relevant officials have, probably through dint of failure to properly oversee the GMO industry in SA, put themselves in the crosshairs of allegations that they bear personal and collective responsibility for letting South Africans eat and be exposed, even in their drinking water, to glyphosate well over a year after the WHO 'blew the whistle' on this extensively used weed killer. The GMO story in South Africa is complex because even the scientists involved in the development and commercial application of this technology in food crop cultivation do not know the full extent of what their products are doing to human health. Of
government officials are and have been saying that there are no negative health effects due to the widespread consumption of GMO products or use of glyphosate (sold commercially as Roundup), the main herbicide used to kill off competing plants in GMO cultivation fields.
But that is the word of vested interests – something a court case involving the DAFF over a decade ago, regarding the release of GMOs into commercial production in South Africa, has already ruled on. Which is to say, the industry was shown through court action to be lying to, or deliberately misleading, the agriculture department's officials about any possible negative eco and health effects on wildlife (and, by extension, humans) of growing GMO crops while using glyphosate. Read here for
more on the historic Constitutional Court case which resulted in a victory for eco watchdog NGO Biowatch after a decade-long battle with the GM industry and the SA government. You can read here more on Biowatch's ongoing concerns about the use of GMOs (and glyphosate) in South Africa food production.
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Not a 'claim' The statements above do not constitute a 'claim'. They represent history and are factual. The upshot is that DAFF officials have already been shown to either not be paying attention or perhaps not caring that they were lied to by an industry which has billions of dollars at stake in having South Africa breaking away from most other African states (along with over three dozen other nations) in allowing GMOs to be grown 'in the wild'.
While some see GMOs as the 'way of the future' for agriculture, others are far less convinced. Industry claims of significant drought resistance in its white maize variants, for example, have been shown by the latest Southern African drought to be vastly exaggerated, if not utterly false – most of the GMO white maize (which constitutes the great majority of white maize grown in SA) planted in the last growing season did not survive the drought any better than other forms of maize. Indeed, most of the crop perished or was severely affected. Industry claims of sustained higher yields have also not panned out as claimed – in fact, after about 12-15 years of cultivation, most GMO crop yields drop significantly. The essence of the issue to be looked into by the HRC centres on the likely or prima facie human rights violations inherent in GMO crops being used as the country's basic staple (white maize), among other essential foods, along with the violations implicit in the use of the 'probable human carcinogen' herbicide glyphosate with those GMOs. The rationale for this argument is that almost every South African is unwittingly being exposed to glyphosate on a daily basis, albeit in trace amounts but which accumulate over time. The vast body of independent evidence put before the Human Rights Commission by concerned parties pointed overwhelmingly towards a conclusion that this genetic technology is inherently unsafe for the environment and for human and animal health.
GMO problems Indeed the core problem with GMOs, as a whole, is that there really is insufficient evidence to be able to say that they may be grown (with accompany chemicals like glyphosate used alongside them) without negative impacts to either the general ecology and specifically to human consumers of such GMO crops, or foods in which GMOs are
EXCLUSIVE included. Against the background of the absence (or ignoring by official) of the possible dangers associated with the widespread cultivation of GMOs and accompanying use of glyphosate, there is a growing body of independently arrived at evidence from non-industry paid researchers and organisation showing that glyphosate, in particular, and GMOs as a whole are posing much more serious ecological and health risks than were previously supposed (see accompany article on pg 85: Judge warns Monsanto for hiding info in 55 cancer lawsuits). Given the above, and the WHO ruling on glyphosate's probable cancer risks, the Inkatha Freedom Party, together with some concerned citizen groups, late last year approached the SAHRC with a large volume of independent (non-industry funded) research showing that glyphosate is a particular problem and may well be affecting everyone who eats it, even in trace amounts on GM (and other) crops. The impacts seem to be very profound, including at the DNA level, causing, in all probability, endocrine disruptions, immune system disruptions and quite possibly non-Hodgkins lymphoma (an aggressive form of cancer), in which glyphosate has been specifically implicated in some (independent) studies, plus quite possibly other cancers or pre-cancerous conditions. The SAHRC has responded by saying that it is to embark on a national consultative programme to hear all parties and to attempt to get to the bottom of what seems to be an outright contradiction between what the GM industry lobbyists and interest groups say versus
what a growing number of independent researchers have to say on the whole issue of GMOs and on glyphosate in particular. In this regard, South Africa is being closely watched globally as a case study where, for the first time, the GM industry is being taken on for failing to come clean on, or admit the relevance of, evidence from independent researchers, showing that GMOs in general may indeed be having some negative health impacts on consumers of GM products and that glyphosate in particular is a serious
health threat. The reason we at Simply Green have emphasised in each case that it is upon non-industry, independent studies that we – and hopefully the SAHRC – must rely in order to have as unbiased assessment of the risks of GMOs and glyphosate is that industry-paid research has
been specifically set up to not show any such effects. It was demonstrated to the HRC Commissioners in the
While some see GMOs as the 'way of the future' for agriculture, others are far less convinced. Industry claims of significant drought resistance in its white maize variants, for example, have been shown by the latest Southern African drought to be vastly exaggerated, if not utterly false – most of the GMO white maize (which constitutes the great majority of white maize grown in SA) planted in the last growing season did not survive the drought any better than other forms of maize. Indeed, most of the crop perished or was severely affected. Industry claims of sustained higher yields have also not panned out as claimed – in fact, after about 12-15 years of cultivation, most GMO crop yields drop significantly.
complaints and supporting data that food safety studies
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on lab rats, for example, are run for just 90 days as an industry standard. When one industry-paid researcher decided
of independent research studies supporting the
to continue feeding his lab rats with GMOs grown
contentions that the eco- and food-safety of GMOs
according to industry standards, he found that
remained unproven, or which showed significant
after two years female lab rat fatalities were
human health threats. The Commissioners were
far beyond expected levels (70% as opposed
also given independent research that showed
to 20%) with many cancers recorded and with
through a growing body of studies what the
male rats in the that study showing a range of
specific and emergent dangers of glyphosate were
highly detrimental developments, including major
to human populations exposed to this herbicide.
endocrine disruptions and other serious diseases.
SA High Rights Commission's undertaking
Under assessment That material is now being assessed by the HRC whose Commissioners said they would call in expertise from non-industry and non-government
The SAHRC Commissioners who recently met with
sources to further assess the state of play with
the IFP and other concerned bodies on this matter
regard to knowledge about the dangerous of both
specifically asked the complainants if they would
the widespread use of glyphosate in agro-industry
accept a recommendation from the Commission
(not only in the growing of GMO crops) as well as
that it formally 'closed' the complaint process
fully exploring all the issues, from food safety to
initiated by the IFP letter, in conjunction with those
economic implications, of growing of the national
of other concerned parties, and instead pursue the
food staple and other crops using GMOs.
It was pointed out to the HRC that, by its own
The latter, said the Commissioners, was almost
admission to Africa Check, the Department of
certain to be 'quicker', being less likely to be
Health's unit looking into food safety had not
slowed by administrative and legal technicalities
even once checked since '2012/13' for glyphosate
which can been invoked in an adversarial approach
residues in the food that South Africans in their
involving the issuing of subpoenas and other legal
tens of millions eat daily.
documents to concerned parties, including both
The bottom line was, the Commissioners were
the DAFF and the DoH officials, along with major
told, that no one knows how much glyphosate
industry players like Monsanto.
South Africans are being exposed to daily and our
The IFP, together with the other parties,
agricultural and health authorities appear to be
agreed with the SAHRC approach, which, the two
taking industry claims of safety at face value while
Commissioners present assured those present,
no local officials are even looking into the issue,
did not necessarily rule out a parallel adversarial
despite the fact that the IARC said glyphosate was
approach if some parties proved recalcitrant in
a 'probable human carcinogen' more than a year
coming forward with information or which refused
to engaged in the consultative approach.
The situation is made all the more serious by
In the original IFP complaint the HRC was told
recent findings, also provided to the HRC, that
that allowing GMOs to be used to grow SA's base
glyphosate accumulates both up the food chain
staple crop of white maize, along with other key
in higher order organisms like people, and the
foods such as soya, and in combination with the
animals which people eat, and that even in trace
widespread use of glyphosate, meant that South
amounts (measured in nanograms) glyphosate
Africa's agricultural and health authorities were
was showing up as a cause of disease, putting
either knowingly or unknowingly allowing 'gross
the DoH's 'safe' exposure levels far above â€“ by
human rights violations' which might border on
some hundreds of thousands of times â€“ known
'crimes against humanity' since, in effect, every
levels of glyphosate exposure associated with
single South African was exposed at some level to
human disease and particularly cancerous and
glyphosate and to GMO food.
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The HRC Commissioners were provided a large volume of supporting data, mostly the results
ACB throws down the gauntlet on new GMO maize In a campaign addressed to the Chairperson,
a 2014 academic study found that workers spraying
Executive Council GMO Act, Ms Nompumelelo
glyphosate formulations (such as Monsantos RoundUp
Mkhonza, the African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB)
herbicide) had an increased risk of Non-Hodgkin
has called on the SA government to say 'no' to
Lymphoma, a type of cancer.
Monsanto's 'bogus drought tolerant GMO maize and
'We are deeply troubled by the continuous
introduction of risky GMOs into our food and farming
In their call to action by all South Africans concerned
systems. Since its introduction into our food system
with the issue of GMOs and the release of yet another
in 1998, it has done nothing to address our nation's
previously unseen novel gene combination in our
hunger problems. Instead, we are left with polluted soil
primary staple crop, white maize, the ACB says:
and water and loss of our superior, local farmer-bred
'We all love mealies and the many other food
varieties of maize.
products that we get from maize seeds. But Monsanto,
'We are also extremely concerned about the political
a multi-national seed and chemical company, is busy
economy of seed control that Monsanto has imposed
colonising Mzansi's food system. Monsanto genetically
on our seed system, which utterly undermines our food
engineers the DNA of different plants, and sells their
sovereignty and breeds a dependency on Monsanto's
products to farmers promising a better harvest. But
industrial systems and technologies.
wherever Monsanto does business communities health
'Local land belonging to smallholder farmers in SA
and the environment are at risk. In order to make
have already been contaminated. More GMOs will only
even more money, they are trying to push through
exacerbate this situation and further erode farmers'
their so-called "drought tolerant maize" seed to be
seed systems. We call on our government to reject
commercially available to our farmers.
Monsanto's application and begin a real dialogue
'Monsanto is using the drought and our rising
with South Africans to transition out of industrial and
food prices as a means of inserting its bogus drought
GM-based agriculture systems and work towards
tolerant technology and maize into the South African
real climate resilient solutions that are ecologically
food systems. We strongly challenge claims of drought
sustainable, socially just and takes care of the nutritional
tolerance as a Trojan horse and yet another risky and
needs of all South Africans.'
novel gene introduced into our staple food. 'We demand a ban on the use of glyphosate which Monsanto sells with this product to our farmers and remind the Executive Council that the WHO International Association for Research into Cancer (IARC) categorised glyphosate as a class 2A carcinogen in May 2015 and
1 â€‰ Schinasi L, Leon ME (Apr 2014). 'Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and occupational exposure to agricultural pesticide chemical groups and active ingredients: a systematic review and meta-analysis.' International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 11 (4): 4449-527
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Political ramifications There are also far-reaching political ramifications to the HRC investigation, aside from the specific request or demand put to the HRC that officials found to have been negligent, or worse, as a result of its investigation, should be charged with dereliction of duty and failure to protect SA citizens' human rights, and thereby removed for all time from occupying any government position at all. Should the HRC confirm what other leading agencies like the IARC are saying about glyphosate (and possibly also about GMOs being 'tested in the wild in one of largest human trials the world has ever seen' through the DAFF's allowing white maize, soy and other basic food crops to be grown using GMOs, as one group of concerned parties put it) South Africa will have moved the issue from a debate largely between and pro- and anti-GM groupings into the mainstream arena of an issue of concern affecting not only South Africans, but also GMO- and glyphosate-exposed populations around
the world. A negative finding towards GMOs as a whole, and glyphosate in specific, with regards to their use being a violation of human rights will inevitably result in a flurry of court actions. It will also elevate these issues within the WHO to the level where that body may be forced
in due course to come to its own determination about whether the use of GMOs for food crops is, in principle, a violation of the human rights of unknowing consumers of these genetically altered foodstuffs, and whether the use of glyphosate in any circumstances related to agriculture is intrinsically a violation of basic human rights. We have, at Simply Green, previously reported on GMOs and their health risks, incurring in the process
the GM lobbyists' ire. We do not have to re-iterate those prior reports here, but we assert that glyphosate and GMOs have been shown to be far from 'harmless' to humans and eco-system as whole, as the GM industry has previously and continues to insist. For those interesting in seeing how the GM industry has used various means to influence decision-making around their products, readers can inform themselves on a parallel set of issues, with profound political undertones of a sinister nature, here.
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EXCLUSIVE â€˜Half of all children will be autistic by 2025,â€™ warns senior research scientist at MIT What is making a growing number of children in the
to pesticides and autism, a rapidly growing condition in
USA (and South Africa) autistic? Many culprits have
Westernised societies and linked to other drivers such as
been blamed but a growing body of evidence points to
phthalate chemicals, secondary cigarette smoke or smoking
glyphosate toxicity from exposure to Monsanto's Roundup
by pregnant women.
herbicide on our food.
Recently, the US Department of Agriculture released a
For over three decades, Stephanie Seneff, PhD, has
study finding that although there were detectable levels of
researched biology and technology, over the years publishing
pesticide residue in more than half of food tested by the
over 170 scholarly peer-reviewed articles. In recent years
agency, 99% of samples taken were found to be within levels
she has concentrated on the relationship between nutrition
the government deems 'safe', and 40% were found to have
and health, tackling such topics as Alzheimer's, autism, and
no detectable trace of pesticides at all. The USDA added,
cardiovascular diseases, as well as the impact of nutritional
however, that due to 'cost concerns', it did not test for residues
deficiencies and environmental toxins on human health.
At a recent conference, in a special panel discussion
Monsanto claims that Roundup is harmless to humans.
about GMOs, she took the audience by surprise when she
Bacteria, fungi, algae, parasites, and plants use a seven-step
declared, 'At today's rate, by 2025, one in two children will
metabolic route known as the shikimate pathway for the
be autistic.' She noted that the side-effects of autism closely
biosynthesis of aromatic amino acids; glyphosate inhibits
mimic those of glyphosate toxicity, and presented data
this pathway, causing the plant to die, which is why it is so
showing a remarkably consistent correlation between the use
effective as a herbicide. Monsanto says humans don't have
of Roundup on crops (and the creation of Roundup-ready
this shikimate pathway, so it's 'perfectly safe'.
GMO crop seeds) with rising rates of autism. Children with
Dr Seneff points out, however, that our gut bacteria do have
autism have biomarkers indicative of excessive glyphosate,
this pathway, and that's crucial because these bacteria supply
including zinc and iron deficiency, low serum sulfate, seizures,
our body with vital amino acids. Roundup thus kills beneficial
and mitochondrial disorder.
gut bacteria necessary for good health and a functional
A fellow panelist reported that after Dr Seneff's presentation,
immune system, allowing pathogens to grow; it also interferes
'All of the 70 or so people in attendance were squirming, likely
with the synthesis of amino acids including methionine, which
because they now had serious misgivings about serving their
leads to shortages in critical neurotransmitters and folate;
kids, or themselves, anything with corn or soy, which are
chelates (removes) important minerals like iron, cobalt and
nearly all genetically modified and thus tainted with Roundup
manganese; and much more besides.
and its (herbicide) glyphosate.'
Even worse, she notes, additional chemicals in Roundup
Dr Seneff noted the widespread use of glyphosate's use,
are untested because they're classified as 'inert', yet according
even with non-GM crops. Because it is used on corn and soy,
to a 2014 study in BioMed Research International, these
all soft drinks and candies sweetened with corn syrup and all
chemicals are capable of amplifying the toxic effects of
chips and cereals that contain soy fillers have small amounts
Roundup 'hundreds of times over'.
of glyphosate in them, as do our beef and poultry since cattle
Glyphosate is present in unusually high quantities in the
and chicken are fed GMO corn or soy. Wheat is often sprayed
breast milk of American mothers, at anywhere from 760 to
with Roundup just prior to being harvested, which means
1â€‰600 times the allowable limits in European drinking water.
that all non-organic bread and wheat products would also
Urine testing shows Americans have 10 times the glyphosate
be sources of glyphosate toxicity. The amount of glyphosate
accumulation as Europeans. Glyphosate has also been found
in each product may not be large, but the cumulative effect
in human placentas and umbilical cords.
(especially with as much processed food as Americans eat)
'In my view, the situation is almost beyond repair,' Dr Seneff
could be devastating. A recent study shows that pregnant
said after her presentation. 'We need to do something drastic.'
women living near farms where pesticides are applied have
Read the full article here.
a 60% increased risk of children having an autism spectrum disorder. Other toxic substances may also be autism-inducing. Studies now show a link between children's exposure
Resources Alliance For Natural Health anh-usa.org
87 S G
Judge warns Monsanto for hiding info in 55 cancer lawsuits S G 88
EXCLUSIVE It has been well established that agro-industry food giant and leading GMO producer Monsanto has been trying to hide the detrimental risks their leading herbicide, Roundup, poses to human health and the environment. Over the years, numerous studies have been published proving that the active ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, can cause cancer, miscarriages, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's, and more.
evidence in support of the harmful effects of
virtually monopolise the entire North American seed industry without government intervention. Roundup can be found in almost any non-organic food, on golf courses, and in soil, despite the fact that it is a known carcinogen (in lab rats) and has been cited by a World Health Organization health and cancer watchdog body as a 'probable human carcinogen'. However, thanks to a federal court judge in California, Monsanto may finally have to face the music for its alleged wrongdoings and secrecy, shedding light on the truth about Roundup and the company's ties to the US government. On February 27, 2017, Judge Vince Chhabria declared to Monsanto that, despite the company's objections, numerous documents will not be kept sealed and will be turned over to be used against the company. Judge Chhabria is currently overseeing over 55 lawsuits against Monsanto in the US District Court for the Northern District of California. He even threatened Monsanto that if the company continues to pursue extensive efforts to keep important documents out of the hands of the public, he would impose sanctions. The court cases were filed as a result of numerous claims that Monsanto's Roundup caused non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a type of cancer that originates in the lymphatic system and could potentially be â€“ some scientists say is likely to be â€“ caused by Roundup. These specific lawsuits are being handled together as 'multi-district litigation' (MDL) in San Francisco, although there are many more claims from people all over the US who developed the same type of cancer, apparently after being exposed to the herbicide. 'I have a problem with Monsanto, because it is insisting that stuff be filed under seal that should
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not be filed under seal,' Judge Chhabria explained in the hearing. When documents are 'relevant to the litigation, they shouldn't be under seal, even if they are embarrassing to Monsanto (and) even if Monsanto doesn't like what they say'. You can read the full court transcript here. Another questionable subject that was brought up in the hearing is the fact that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains that glyphosate is 'likely not a carcinogen', in direct contradiction of a finding by the relevant World Health Organization's (WHO) cancer watchdog body. Why, it is being asked
to reclassify glyphosate from a 'possible human
in US eco-friendly circles, would the US government
carcinogen' to a 'probable' cancer-causing agent,
knowingly support a false claim, as it has been
but clearly Rowland ignored this expert's opinion
proven that glyphosate can cause cancer in rats and
is the likely cause of non-Hodgkins lymphoma in
cancer-glyphosate relationship is strange, as even
some concern during the hearing as to whether or
the International Agency for Research on Cancer
not those involved in the trial would even believe
(IARC) classified glyphosate as a probable human
experts who explain the science behind glyphosate
carcinogen in late 2015. Numerous studies have
being 'probably carcinogenic'.
proven the cancer-glyphosate link (examples 1,
The EPA has, on numerous occasions in the past, apparently colluded with oil companies as well as Monsanto, all of which threaten the environment,
2, 3), but despite the overwhelming amount of evidence, it is still being debated in US courts. Meanwhile,
which the EPA claims and is empowered to protect.
recently ruled against Monsanto in a case that
However, this case is expected to blow the lid off
aimed to enforce mandatory cancer warnings on
Monsanto's close ties to EPA higher-ups, including
Roundup labels. Judge Kristi Kapetan finalised her
Jess Rowland, head of the EPA's Cancer Assessment
ruling confirming that California will now classify
glyphosate as a chemical 'known to the state to
committee was 'accidentally' leaked to the public at
cause cancer', in accordance with the Safe Drinking
a time that was favourable to Monsanto, given its
Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, otherwise
known as Proposition 65.
According to court filings by plaintiffs' attorneys, discovery documents 'strongly suggests that Mr
Rowland's primary goal was to serve the interests
In January 2016, Monsanto filed a lawsuit against
of Monsanto'. Rowland has yet to publicly address
the State of California Environmental Protection
these allegations. He has since left the agency and
Agency's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) over the agency's notice of
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humans? As a result of the EPA's stance, there was
Plaintiffs state that the litigation has revealed
intent to list glyphosate as a Prop 65 chemical. After
documents proving that Rowland was 'straining, and
a long battle, the company finally lost and will be
often breaking, ethics and rules to benefit Monsanto's
forced to put cancer warning labels on their most
popular herbicide, Roundup, in California.
exposed that the company pushed this report to be
This will likely bode well for the anti-glyphosate
published immediately in order to 'pre-empt other
cases in California, but since many of the claims
potential actions or inquiries about the dangers of
were made outside of the state where the same laws
glyphosate,' according to a court filing.
don't apply, it may have less of an impact around the
Further proof lies in the form of a letter from a
rest of the USA â€“ or in South Africa where our local
former EPA scientist to Rowland stating that there
authorities seem, when it suits them, to slavishly
were significant scientific grounds for the EPA
follow US government agency determinations on
EXCLUSIVE According to court filings by plaintiffs' attorneys, discovery documents 'strongly suggests that Mr Rowland's primary goal was to serve the interests of Monsanto'. Rowland has yet to publicly address these allegations. He has since left the agency and retired.
constitute, respectively, the active principles of three major herbicides, three insecticides, and three fungicides. Despite its relatively benign reputation, Roundup was among the most toxic herbicides and insecticides tested. Most importantly, eight formulations out of nine were up to one thousand times more toxic than their active principles. Our results challenge the relevance of the acceptable daily intake for pesticides because this norm is calculated from the toxicity of the active principle alone. Chronic tests on pesticides may not reflect
food safety, labelling and related issues, especially
relevant environmental exposures if only one
when it comes to GMOs and glyphosate.
ingredient of these mixtures is tested alone.'2
Rowland and some of the higher-ups at Monsanto
Dr Stephanie Seneff, a research scientist at the
are to make depositions later in March 2017. A key
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), revealed
hearing is set for October 2017, at which time
an even more disturbing truth: Glyphosate is possibly
expert witness testimonies are expected to be
'the most important factor in the development of
presented to the judge and then trial dates will
multiple chronic diseases and conditions that have
likely begin in early 2018 (source).
become prevalent in Westernised societies.' Another
Just how toxic is Roundup for you?
study suggested that glyphosate can cause celiac disease, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, kidney failure, miscarriages, infertility, birth defects, obesity,
Numerous countries have banned the use of
autism, depression, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and
Monsanto's Roundup, including Russia, Sri Lanka,
and much of Europe. In all there are at least 38
'It is commonly believed that Roundup is among
countries worldwide which have banned the use of
the safest pesticides. Despite its reputation, Roundup
and the importation of Roundup.
was by far the most toxic among the herbicides and
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich
insecticides tested. This inconsistency between
announced that Russia had 'made the decision not
scientific fact and industrial claim may be attributed
to use any GMO in food production'. This is due to
to huge economic interests, which have been
safety concerns surrounding GMOs and toxicity of
found to falsify health risk assessments and delay
the active ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate (read
health policy decisions.' â€“ R Mesnage et al, Biomed
more about that here).
Research International, Volume 2014 (2014) article
However, in reality, there's much more to the
herbicide to be concerned about. A study, published
It's not really a surprise that Monsanto refuses
in the journal Biomedical Research International,
to admit the health risks associated with GMOs
showed that Roundup is 125 times more toxic than
and Roundup, as the company makes billions of
its active ingredient glyphosate studied in isolation.1
dollars every year from its increasing control of the
The eye-opening abstract reads as follows:
global seed industry â€“ the company has previously
'Pesticides are used throughout the world
openly declared its aim of controlling the world's
as mixtures called formulations. They contain
staple food seed stocks. As a result, it's difficult
adjuvants, which are often kept confidential and
for consumers to even know when they're eating
are called "inerts" by the manufacturing companies,
GMOs or other products doused in Roundup because
plus a declared active principle, which is usually
there's a lack of transparency. This is as true in
tested alone. We tested the toxicity of 9 pesticides,
South Africa as in the USA, where Monsanto has
comparing active principles and their formulations,
been shown to enjoy the protection of government
on three human cell lines. Glyphosate, isoproturon,
watchdog bodies like the EPA.
fluroxypyr, pirimicarb, imidacloprid, acetamiprid, tebuconazole,
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C onscious H ome
Keep your home poisoning yourse
S G 92
e clean without elf and the earth When we buy cleaning products as a consumer, we expect them to clean. We want our homes sparkling clean and smelling 'fresh' by using scents, soaps, detergents, bleaching agents, softeners, scourers, polishes, and specialised cleaners for bathrooms, kitchen, drains, and ovens. However, while the chemicals in commercial cleaner's foam, bleach and disinfect to make our home and drains germ-free, it has been proven that many also contribute to indoor air pollution, are poisonous if ingested and can be harmful if inhaled or touched. Liesel James reports.
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ammonia-based surfactants, solvents and a myriad of other nasty chemicals can make
up 90% of the volume of a typical store-bought cleaning solution, says green living expert Beth Greer, author of Super Natural Home. The impact continues after the bubbly cleaning liquids disappear down our drains to municipal waste water treatment plants where they are treated along with sewage and other waste water and then discharged into nearby waterways. Some chemical cleaners break down into harmless substances during treatment, others however do not, threatening water quality or fish and other wildlife. Some disinfecting agents can negatively affect the biological processes in sewage treatment plants and natural waters. This is such a vast topic with such potential significance for the environment, society and with economic implications, but for the purpose of this article I would like to focus on the human health issues. Ingredients in cleaning products with high acute toxicity include chlorine bleach and ammonia, which can cause respiratory and skin irritation and should not be used by people with asthma or lung or heart problems. Also they will create toxic fumes if accidentally mixed together.
Have you ever wondered why air fresheners and cistern blocks make you nauseous, give you headaches, sneezing or other respiratory uncomfortability, especially in public areas? The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health in the USA has found that one-third of the substances used in the fragrance industry are toxic. As they are considered trade secrets, companies aren't required to list their ingredients but merely label them as containing 'fragrance'.
Have you ever wondered why air fresheners and cistern blocks make you nauseous, give
This was after a study was done in 2003
you headaches, sneezing or other respiratory
whereby 2â€‰ 517 urine samples were analysed
uncomfortability, especially in public areas? The
and 74.6% had traces of triclosan, a synthetic
National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health
chemical with broad antimicrobial activity that
in the USA has found that one-third of the substances
has been used extensively in consumer products,
used in the fragrance industry are toxic. As they are
including personal care products, textiles, and
considered trade secrets, companies aren't required
plastic kitchenware. Specifically, the concentrations
to list their ingredients but merely label them as
of triclosan appeared to be highest during the third
decade of life and among people with the highest
Other ingredients in cleaners may have low
It has been suggested that using too many
effects, such as cancer, hormone disruption and
antibacterial products can actually promote the
immune disorders. The alkylphenol ethoxylates
spread of bigger, 'worse' bacteria and lead to
(APEs) used in some detergents and cleaners have
life-threatening infections, that cannot be treated.
been shown to mimic the hormone estrogen. It has
More details about this study can be found here.
been tested in a test tube study, which has caused estrogen-sensitive breast cancer cells to multiply.
Sadly, in South Africa the ingredient declaration on Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS's) is so poor,
The FDA has banned anti-bacterial ingredients
that you cannot really tell the product make up.
in commercial products due to the evidence of
Unlike cosmetics, there is no regulatory requirement
their contribution to the development of immune
on detergents to state the ingredients.
disorders and cancer.
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acute toxicity but contribute to long-term health
The most toxic household commercial cleaners
are drain, oven and toilet cleaners. The solution?
can burn skin and eyes, are ingredients in many
Make your own or buy the right product.
oven cleaners. Aerosol spray oven cleaners are
We recommend that you not use the recipes that
easily inhaled into lung tissue.
include borax, as it is not a safer alternative since it may pose health risks, too. Borax is a (powdery,
white) mineral that also goes by a few other names:
Put a heatproof dish filled with water in the oven. Turn on the heat to let the steam soften any baked-on grease. Once the oven is cool, apply a paste of equal parts salt, bicarb of soda, and vinegar, and scrub (from Super Natural Home by Beth Greer).
sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate. A close cousin of borax is boric acid. It is not the 'greener' or 'natural' ingredient we were made to believe. Borax is a pesticide that poisons insects, fungus and weeds, but it also has plenty of other uses that we encounter in consumer products, like school slime. It does not qualify for the Green
Bathroom & Toilet Cleaners
Tag Certification and it will not be present in
Some toilet cleaners contain sulfates and hydrochloric
certified eco products.
acid, and are extremely toxic, posing alarming risk
If you are going to make your own, all you need
to children, pets and especially the person who has
is vinegar, lemon juice, bicarbonate of soda and
the chore of cleaning toilets. Bathroom cleaners
some elbow grease.
contain sodium hydroxide, sodium hypochlorite
(bleach), or phosphoric acid. Mixing acid-containing toilet bowl cleaners with cleaners that contain
Chemical drain cleaners are among the most
chlorine will form lung-damaging chlorine gas. Your
dangerous of all cleaning products. Most contain
safest best is to avoid both ingredients.
corrosive ingredients such as sodium hydroxide and sodium hypochlorite (bleach) that can permanently
burn eyes and skin. Some can be fatal if ingested.
Bicarb and Lemon Juice. For removing a stubborn stain, like toilet bowl ring, mix enough bicarb and lemon juice into a paste cover the ring. Flush toilet to wet the sides, then rub on paste. Let sit for two hours and scrub thoroughly. For less stubborn toilet bowl rings, sprinkle baking soda around the rim and scrub with a toilet brush.
Prevent drains from blocking, by capturing hair and other drain-clogging particles with inexpensive metal or plastic drain screens, available at local hardware stores. Do not allow large food scraps to wash down the kitchen sink.
Recipe For slow drains, use this drain cleaner once a week to keep drains fresh and clog-free. 1/2 cup bi carb of soda 1 cup white vinegar 1 liter of boiling water 1/2 a used lemon Pour baking soda down drain/disposal, followed by vinegar. Allow the mixture to foam for several minutes before flushing the drain with boiling water.
If you prefer the convenience of pre-made commercial cleaners that authentically care about people and the environment you can find them at health stores near you, but do follow the guidelines provided below to ensure the lowest impact on your health and the environment.
Tips for choosing products with the lowest impact on your health â€˘
Avoid products labelled: 'Danger' and 'poison'
If you purchase a pre-made drain cleaner,
are typically most hazardous and do take
choose one that use enzymes, rather than caustic
note of 'Warning' and 'Caution' too; active
chemicals, to eat away gunk.
ingredients of chlorine or ammonia; a known
Oven Cleaners Lye and sodium hydroxide, which are corrosive and
water pollutant is phosphates, widely used in laundry, automatic dishwasher detergents and other cleaners. When phosphates enter
95 S G
waterways, they act as a fertiliser, spawning
products and solutions to change current cleaning
overgrowth of algae; APE's (these ingredients
practices to improve sanitation, water treatment
are rarely, if ever, disclosed on labels); Choose
products made with plant-based, instead of
productivity, quality of life associated with rural
sanitation and also the health and well-being of
those of us who are exposed to cleaning products
in ours home and office space.
or 'biodegradable', that doesn't necessarily
OptimusBio works on the principal of biomimicry
mean it's non-toxic. A product that claims
and uses none of the above ingredients but rather
biodegradable in 3 to 4 days holds more
focuses on using biotechnology through bacteria
meaning than just stating biodegradable as
and enzymes; natures way of cleaning. Enzymes are
most substances will break down with enough
naturally-occurring proteins produced by all living
time. Claims like 'no solvents', 'no phosphates',
organisms to speed up chemical reactions.
or 'plant-based' are more meaningful than vague
OptimusBio uses Nanotechnology for disinfection
terms like 'ecologically-friendly' or 'natural'.
purposes in hospitals and labs where it is required
Although 'organic' in the grocery store refers
and they also produce biodegradable products that
to foods grown without synthetic pesticides,
break down within 24 days.
in chemistry it refers to chemicals that are
OptimusBio is transparent and offers detailed
carbon-based, including some VOCs (volatile
MSDS on each of its 72 products currently on the
organic compounds) that release harmful
fumes and may cause brain damage or cancer.
They also sell concentrated refills on all their
Additionally, watch out for products labelled
products. Recyclable packaging and when it is not
organic. Often there are only an ingredient,
possible for consumers to recycle they will take all
such as plant oils, which can be labelled
packaging back to ensure it does not end up in
To reduce packaging waste: Select products in bottles made with at least some recycled plastic. And choose concentrated formulas, which contain only 20% or less water. Because dilution with water is done at home, not at the factory, concentrated cleaners overall require less packaging and fuels for shipping.
Please contact Lisel for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org References: •
Who's doing what locally? OptimusBio is a local and spin-out company from the CSIR backed by excellent product and process technology, that provides eco-friendly biological
Dr Raj Lalloo: Chief Scientist Bioprocess Development CSIR
We have THREE OptimusBio Eco Starter packs (which includes a 500ml dishwashing liquid, 1l dishwashing liquid refill, Spray & Wipe + refill (surface cleaner), Multi Task + refill (bathroom cleaner) and Floor Cleaner + refill (floors, carpets and upholstery cleaner) to give away. Simply send your full name and address to email@example.com to stand a chance of winning.
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Are you looking for green cleaning chemicals? We can help! We are an eco-friendly cleaning chemicals manufacturer Blendwell Chemicals has a great range of certified green cleaning products. Our products are ideal for hotels, lodges, schools and cleaning service providers, as well as the food and industrial industries. Blendwell is one of the first cleaning chemical manufacturers to get the Global Green Tag certification in South Africa, which means you have a green product you can trust. We began manufacturing our Enviroblend range of green cleaning chemicals over 7 years ago. We are constantly adapting and improving our green cleaning chemicals as the technology becomes available, which means that there are regularly new green cleaning products added to our range. Our range of eco-friendly cleaning chemicals are non-toxic and low risk. All our raw materials are environmentally friendly as they come from sustainable and renewable plant-based resources. Our packaging is recyclable..... and our products ARE EFFECTIVE!
• • • • • •
Enviro Greendet - dishwashing liquid Enviro Disinfectant - safe for use with septic tanks Enviro Liquid laundry - for washing with built in softening agents Enviro Enzyme D-Odour - odour remover and bacterial based cleaner Enviro Degreaser - for removal of all oils and grease Enviro Glass and Surface Cleaner Non-streaking, Quick Drying & Non Toxic formula
Why choose Enviroblend as your green cleaning chemical brand from Blendwell Chemicals? • • • • • • • •
We are level 2 BBEEE We manufacture locally Proudly South African We are an innovative and experienced manufacturer We offer free training and technical support We produce specialized green cleaning products We are eco-aware and eco-certified We have global eco-specifier accreditation through Global Green Tag
FASHION We take a look at some more eco-fashion breakthroughs and trends.
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THE ENTREPRENEUR SHIRT Two years ago, Tom Cridland decided to start a sustainable clothing business on a meager $8â€‰000 government loan. Today, the eponymous label is immensely profitable. In order to support business owners in the developing world, Cridland has launched 'The Entrepreneur's Shirt' that will split 10% of the sales between two non-profits: Young Enterprise (helping young people get jobs in the UK) and Deki (a provider of micro-loans to small business owners in countries including Uganda, Malawi and South Africa).
Click here for more
BONHAPPI-T Thought up and put together by Durbanites Susan Wright and Felix Schmitz, bonhappi-T is a new, revolutionary South African start-up that launched in 2016. From the price of every bonhappi-T bought, sufficient funds are immediately sent to FoodBank SA or a dog charity, to feed one mouth for one month. The duo spent a year developing the company and have partnered with a few suppliers to make the process of buying the tâ€™s as simple and cheap as possible to ensure that as much proceeds as possible go to the charities.
THE JOINERY AFounded and run by sisters Natalie and Kim Ellis, The Joinery is a South African ethical fashion label created to provide an alternative to traditional, often hazardous methods of production. Established in 2012, it began as a dream to impact local communities through sustainable fashion and has since evolved into an enduring commitment to an environmentally and socially conscious approach to design. Their new 'My Office' range, made from locally produced and sustainable fabric, is the embodiment of this attitude.
Click here for more
USING THE POWER OF THE SUN AND WIND Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology, US have developed a hybrid, energy-generating fabric powered by sunlight and the movement of the wind. The team used a commercial textile machine to weave together solar cells taken from lightweight, polymer fibres with triboelectric nanogenerators (a type of technology that converts mechanical/ thermal energy as produced by small-scale physical change into electricity). The new fabric is 320 micrometres thick and woven together with strands of wool.
Click here for more
99 S G
IZ Collection According to the World Health Organization, over 65 million members of the global population required a wheelchair in 2010. Despite this overwhelming statistic the fashion industry has hardly addressed this in their designs. People who use wheelchairs have little choice when it comes to fashion. They are forced to wear clothes that don’t necessarily fit or look good on them. Canadian designer Izzy Camilleri’s IZ Collection is tackling this issue head on.
Click here for more
WAIR Bad air is detrimental to human health. According to the World Health Organisation, one in eight of total global deaths are a result of air pollution. To lessen the effect of air pollution, designer Caroline Van Renterghem created a stylish scarf that is meant to filter pollution and monitor the air quality around the wearer. Renterghem designed the Wair Scarf after she contracted a lung infection while cycling through Paris. To protect herself she used an emission mask but found the mask uncomfortable.
TIMBERLAND-THREAD Timberland is partnering with Thread, a Pittsburgh-based manufacturer of sustainable fabrics, to create a collection of footwear and bags crafted from post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. The collaboration, set to debut this year, will be the largest to date for Thread, a certified B Corp that seeks to create economic opportunities in developing countries such as Haiti and Honduras, where the bottles are collected.
Click here for more
HUMAN HAIR AS A RAW MATERIAL? Designer Sanne Visser’s new recycling project repurposes an important resource most of us walk around with daily- the hair on our heads. Her new line, called the New Age of Trichology, utilises the untapped resource of human hair waste, transforming our old locks into durable, flexible rope that can be applied to a variety of uses. As populations around the globe rise, Visser’s hair recycling system could help keep millions of pounds of human hair out of our landfills, and put to use.
Click here for more
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Girlfriend Collective This new company based in Seattle, Washington, recently launched its cornerstone product – basic black leggings that are made from recycled water bottles. Girlfriend Collective (GC) sets itself apart from other leggings manufacturers for a number of reasons. First is its choice of fabric – recycled polyester made from old water bottles. They stay away from Lycra, the commonly used stretchy fabric owned by the billionaire Koch brothers, whose climate change-denying beliefs are at odds with GC's founders.
FAIR TRADE: THE FIRST STEP How is your clothing made? This new short film investigates why choosing Fair Trade Certified clothing is an important first step toward changing the garment industry.
Learn more about Patagonia's partnership with Fair Trade here.
BBC EXPOSES CHILD LABOUR Factories in Turkey are employing Syrian refugee children as young as 10 to make clothes for the British high street, an undercover investigation by BBC's Panorama has found. Broadcast in October, 2016, the news program described the 'very picture of Dickensian misery' as reporter Darragh MacIntyre reported refugees earning barely more than a dollar an hour – well below the Turkish minimum wage – stitching, ironing, and folding garments for Marks & Spencer and the online retailer ASOS.
Click here for more
ECO-FRIENDLY FABRIC: NEWLIFE Newlife by Sinterama is a polyester yarn processed and spun in Italy from 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. Processed using mechanical rather than chemical means, it requires 94% less water and 60% less energy, while producing 32% fewer carbon emissions than virgin polyester. Livia Firth, creative director of Eco-Age and co-founder of the Green Carpet Challenge was one of Newlife's early champions when she accompanied her husband, Colin Firth, to the Golden Globes in a Giorgio Armani gown made from the textile.
Click here to see more trend-breaking eco-fabrics
101 S G
MODERNTWIS T ANCIENTECO
The latest water shortages and restrictions lend a charge to this year’s National Water Week, which takes place in late March. Water demand is increasing at a higher rate than population growth, while, as we know, availability is declining due to various factors, including deteriorating water quality and climate change. Most of us are feeling the water stress in our own homes, as well as seeing the dire consequences all around us.
ay to day water-saving is absolutely
with essential trace elements such as calcium and
essential, but there are other simple actions
magnesium, while drawing out harmful chemicals
we can take to preserve the environment,
and metals and binding them fast. The result
while restoring the integrity of the water to which we
is naturally purified water that is enriched with
do have access. If you’re set on taking one decisive
minerals, delicious and refreshing.
step towards a greener, more ‘conscious’ lifestyle in
KURO-Bo Activated Charcoal comes in hand-cut
2017, that is genuinely better for you, your family,
sticks that are quickly activated through 10-minute
your health and the planet, make it a step that really
boiling before each one is added to a minimum of
counts for water, our most valuable resource.
2l of tap water daily. The water can be kept in the
Many of us have doubts that our tap water is
fridge or on the kitchen counter for three hours or
always as healthful as water should be, and we
more to enable KURO-Bo to do its purifying work. All
generally look to filtering systems, that involve a lot
toxins are bound to the charcoal stick, while calcium
of plastics, to help us to avoid chemicals such as
and magnesium enrich the water and improve taste.
chlorine, pesticides and fertilisers, and metals like
A KURO-Bo Activated Charcoal stick can last for
lead, copper and aluminium.
three months, and after that, in line with its green
However, with the recent launch of activated
credentials, there are a number of innovative and
charcoal in South Africa, we can now revive an
beneficial ways to recycle the charcoal, including
ancient Japanese water purifying technique in our
homes, which naturally, easily and economically
transforms tap water through a 100% natural
or as a biochar.
air and SG
KURO-Bo Activated Charcoal is specially crafted using the Binchotan method, a process of forming microporous hardwood charcoal that has been used for centuries in Japan to soften water and enrich it S G 102
See ad, right for more details.
HA N D - C U T
FOR AFFORDABLE, NATURALLY PURIFIED WATER WITH A CLEAN AND REFRESHING TASTE! KURO-Bō Activated Charcoal is the NEW 100% organic, recyclable and cartridgefree carbon water filter that naturally improves taste, removes bacteria, purifies and mineralises tap water, while at the same time, balances pH. The ONLY 100% NATURAL, RECYCLABLE and PLASTIC-FREE water filter in SA. The ONLY product in SA to both FILTER and MINERALISE tap water: • Reducing iron, chlorine, manganese, lead, aluminium, copper and mercury. • Enriching with calcium and magnesium. REMOVES E. COLI in only 60 minutes (at 99 CFU per 100ml). No HIDDEN SET UP COSTS, BULKY SYSTEMS, JUGS or MONTHLY CARTRIDGES. Offers up to THREE MONTHS OF FILTERED WATER per stick. IMPROVES TASTE in only 15 minutes. No more WASTEFUL and EXPENSIVE PLASTIC BOTTLES. Can be RECYCLED in a multitude of USEFUL and ECO-FRIENDLY ways. EASY TO USE – simply BOIL, DROP into any container of tap water, allow to FILTER and ENJOY!
FIND ALL STOCKISTS of KURO-Bō at www.kuro-bo.com
call: +27 (0)72 719 8183 email: firstname.lastname@example.org visit: www.kuro-bo.com103 S G
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Real Meal Revolution Banting 2.0 Jonno Proudfoot and the Real Meal Revolution team
Sugar Free: 8 Weeks to Freedom from Sugar and Carb Addiction Karen Thomson
Burnet Media â€˘ 9 781 9282 3044 1
Sunbird Publishers â€˘ 9 781 9202 8994 2
Since the launch of the original Real Meal Revolution in November 2013, low-carb high-fat (LCHF) eating otherwise known as Banting - has taken South Africa by storm. The Real Meal Revolution website has seen more than two million visitors since its launch in 2014 and the company supports thousands of Banters on a monthly basis. Inevitably, a topic that has such farreaching health implications and generates so much interest has brought with it controversy, confusion and copycats. Three years after the revolution hit South Africa, it's time for an overview of what has been learnt from the original Banting revolutionaries. Having collated reams of data and overwhelming quantities of personal feedback from those who've embraced Banting and had their lives changed for the better as a result, the Real Meal Revolution returns to bookstores with a comprehensive, authoritative handbook on the Banting lifestyle, incorporating the latest science on LCHF eating, gut health, gluten sensitivity, fasting and more. The result is the evolution of the revolution: a streamlined, accessible, easy-to-read review of what Banting means and how to approach LCHF eating in the most effective way possible. Jonno Proudfoot is a food expert, entrepreneur and adventurer, and the driving force behind the Real Meal Revolution brand. Real Meal Revolution is an online and face-to-face weight-loss and healthy-eating support company.
Are you a sugar addict? Do you crave sweet treats, bread, pasta and sauce-laden food? Do you experience lethargy and mood swings as a result of blood glucose spikes and dips? Does your weight seesaw unmanageably? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, your health is at risk. Where fat used to be the enemy, scientists now point to the huge amount of sugar we consume as making us unhealthy. Sugar Free is packed with recent scientific research and nutritional advice to help you understand addiction to sugar and carbohydrates, including a chapter by Dr Nicole Avena, research neuroscientist, author and expert in nutrition, diet and addiction. It provides eight weeks of meal plans, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian, by nutritionist Emily Macguire, and includes journal exercises to help you break free from the mental, physical and emotional traps of old eating patterns. Sugar Free shows the way to a sustainable sugar-free lifestyle. Its simple and effective eight-week programme to quit sugar will enable you and your family to enjoy dramatically improved health, increased energy levels and weight loss. Author Karen Thomson is living in recovery from addiction to sugar and carbohydrates so has been there and understands exactly what you need to know to break the cycle of addiction and find your way to radically improved health.
From the Inside Out: The Human Dynamics of Sustainability Graham Williams with David Rosenstein Self-published
William Varey of the School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Murdoch University, Western Australia sums up the problems facing company executive and decision-makers when entering into the tricky and complex terrain of 'sustainability' thus: 'On walking into the realm of sustainability the leader is faced with many twists and turns, false signposts and dead ends. They are told about the Triple Bottom Line, quadruple bottom lines and multiple bottom lines, about environmental management systems, sustainability management systems and systems for managing their management systems. They are asked to choose sustainability reporting metrics, sustainability indicators and adopt global reporting initiatives, and to implement clean development mechanisms, greenhouse gas management and eco-efficiency controls. But what does it all mean – and what does it mean to those we lead? Leaders looking for sustainability will encounter all sorts of curious objects while exploring different parts of the sustainability maze. Objects such as ecological economics, ISO 14001 accreditation, the living planet index, lifecycle analysis,
wellbeing assessments, natural capital calculations, deep ecology principles, sustainable development instruments, ecological footprints, vital signs monitoring, integrated impact assessments, biomimicry, ecological integrity, industrial ecology, community visioning processes and ecoeconomy indicators will all appear on the path.' This books sets out to help those making the leap to sustainability more understandable, easier to manage and to do so in bitesized chunks that both managers and their businesses can efficiently and effectively digest.
Mooiloop: The Book Map Studio •978 1 7702 6690 2
Based on the SABC 2 travelogue-style programme, this one (in English) gives the ins and outs of a wide range of those mostly out-of-the-way places to be found on the highways and byways of its principle routes where small-town experiences of an eclectic and unusual variety are to be found. A quintessentially South African book about South African places, some known some new, this one should appeal to everyone with either an active or armchair wanderlust itch that needs scratching. Beautifully laid out, with all the key elements for each place – including local festivals and events, along with the people and even recipes to be found – this is one to have handy the next time a getaway is being planned.
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ON YOUR BIKE Chris & Tim Whitfield Tafelberg â€˘ 978 0 6240 7774 9
This is an exciting book, aimed at providing tips and details of trails for MTB (mountain bike) riders. With the emphasis on the practical, we are given advice for both beginners and the more experienced, including the bicycle best suited for our body type, how to develop your mountain biking skills, safety, and trails to suit all skill levels. For those who become fanatics, there is information on the so-called stage races and how to survive them. For each trail there is a map with a gradient profile giving the total distance, total climb in metres, and estimated time to complete the trail. Each write-up includes general background and history of the trail, as well as how to get there, permits needed, degree of difficulty and safety considerations. While the detailed info on trails is concentrated on Cape Town, Durban and Gauteng, nearly every province has an entry, along with Lesotho and Swaziland. Because the Cape has endless mountain ranges, and Cape Town is the S G 106
location of the now internationally famous Cape Epic, many detailed trails are within easy reach of the mother city. Mountain biking in the Cape is now a significant tourist attraction. As both authors are journalists by trade, it is not surprising that this book is well written and achieves its objectives. Mike Finch, editor of Bicycling SA, says Mountain Biking is the new golf. If this is true, this book will have a substantial demand.
OUR ULTIMATE 4x4 TRIPS COLLECTION Marielle Renssen Map Studio â€˘ 978 1 7702 6895 4
This offering from Map Studio is the result of the 4x4 travels of the author and her husband. Although many trips were in isolated areas, the author makes it clear that they only went where there were hot showers, flushing toilets and cold beers. Definitely no camping. As a result the book is aimed more at the 4x4 owner who enjoys the bush 'but don't aspire to be the Rambo type'. The list of 22 trips covered is comprehensive, and last from three to ten days. Apart from all South Africa's main game reserves
and other areas of interest, trips are included in Namibia, Mozambique, Botswana and Lesotho. There are detailed maps with GPS addresses for all towns and places of interest, and for each trail a detailed description of the trail with ideas of where to stay, birds and animals likely to be seen and tit bits of local information. The authors have not tried to make their book a 4x4 operators manual, and there is nothing to give you advice on how to run your vehicle, bar for a comprehensive packing list. There are plenty of more technical 4x4 books available, and the author achieves her aim of well detailing specific trips. This book brings together the mapping expertise of the Map Studio and the practical experience of the authors, and if you own a 4x4 or have intentions to do so, this is a must have for you.
101 KRUGER TALES Various Struik Nature â€˘ 978 0 6206 1132 9
This book brings together the extraordinary experiences of visitors to Kruger National Park, and truly, some of them are extraordinary. Several of the incidents described
variety and quality. It is difficult to review this book. It is a true tour de force, covering literally thousands of individual life forms. The quality of printing and presentation is excellent. However, it seems probable that this huge effort may not end up on the bookshelves of many readers.
ELEPHANT DAWN Sharon Pincott Jacana Media â€˘ 978 1 4314 2415 3
have been seen on a popular local television programme, but there are many more which will test your belief. Of the 101 chapters, some are illustrated by amateur tourist photographs, the result of visitors being at the right place at the right time. The lack of professional quality does not detract from their content; some are truly amazing. Taking at random from the 101 chapters to show the variety of content, there are chapters on a leopard that raided a braai while the visitors sat round the fire, the elephant calf that was caught by the trunk by a crocodile, the buffalo calf that survived a tug-of-war between a croc and lions, the dog that faced up to wild dogs, the guide attacked and mauled by a lioness, the effect of floods, several cars attacked by lions and leopards, and lots more. I was surprised to see pictures of a bull elephant flipping a car on its hood and then interfering with the cars of watching visitors. Having personally spent time with elephants, and taken chances on many occasions, I had always believed this could not happen. Indirectly, this book shows what a national gem South Africans have in the Kruger
National Park, and what a disaster it would be if political or other influences were to be allowed to reduce the size or the quality of the park. If you like to read for a while before sleep, this book with it 101 short chapters is ideal. To be highly recommended.
TWO OCEANS George & Margo Branch, Charles Griffith & Lynnath Beckley Struik Nature â€˘ 978 1 7758 4275 0
This fourth edition 464 page guide to the marine life of Southern Africa, covers not only everything that exists in the sea, from whales to seaweed and shells, but also reptiles, birds and flowering plants. It is probably not a book one would buy unless you were a dedicated marine enthusiast, but you can be sure there is nothing in the sea you will not find in the book. The thousands of photographs, some taken by the authors, are of a remarkably high standard. As the guide was first published in 1994, there has been sufficient time to collect photographs from many sources and this shows in the
This book is about an Australian lady who settled close to the Hwange National Park in Western Zimbabwe, and spent 13 years getting physically close to elephant and promoting their cause. It is the intensely personal story of the years of total commitment to the elephants, particularly to eradicate snares and poaching. Like the two previous books by the same author covering the same subject, the content is emotional, made difficult by having to operate with Zimbabwean bureaucracy and Mugabe's politics. The elephants studied by the author were on the Hwange Safari Lodge land, and very accustomed to tourist cars. However, over time, Pincott managed to gain the trust of the elephants, and particularly their matriarchs, so that they became almost tame. One picture shows Pincott kissing the trunk of matriarch Willa, and having elephants up close to the vehicle were a daily occurrence. While many wildlife enthusiasts will recognise Pincott for her objectives, many will also doubt the wisdom of allowing her elephants to become almost tame, and in the process, losing their fear of humans. The cover of the book is misleading by setting it in the 'African Wilderness'. The area has an airport, several lodges and is the headquarters of National Parks for Hwange. But this slip and the overriding emotional tone of the book should not detract from Pincott's 13 years of dedication to the 'Presidential herd'.
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Pets have a right to
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At the dawn of 2017, most of us are now very aware of how our consumerist behaviour has affected our personal health and that of our planet's natural environment. The bottom line to the growing consciousness is this: When we eat food that has been commercially and industrially produced, it breeds disease in our physical bodies. When we spend our money on products and lifestyles that perpetuate the depletion our Earth's natural resources, our entire existence is placed under threat. We take a look at where humanity is standing in its journey to a sustainable future.
e are now part of a growing community of global citizens who are living in a way that is aligned to a greater quality of life
(through optimum nutrition) and to addressing climate change (through supporting sustainable industries). Let's look at some current facts that support this claim: •
More and more people are choosing free range meat products.
People are aware of the importance of eating organic produce as opposed to industrially farmed GMO-grown produce.
The sugar and grain industries have been exposed for their ties to commercial food corporations that have no interest in the health of the public.
There is a growing understanding of the link between a multitude of diseases and their connection to sugar, refined carbohydrates and toxic food-additive intake.
We understand how 'big industry' operates in the oil, gas and energy sector and how this is destroying our planet.
The fishing industry has depleted our oceans of entire ecosystems and created multi-species extinctions.
Big food corporations have similarly affected forestation and wildlife throughout the planet through aggressive farming of arable land and rainforests to meet the demand of consumers for cheap food. With all of this knowledge, we as a species are
slowly starting to empower ourselves and create a new autonomy that self-governs how we choose to live. We want to thrive – and so does our planet. So why has this movement been exclusively designated to the human experience in our households and communities? Our mammalian way of living with empathy sees us caring for nature and animals. So, surely our own pets should be allowed the same rights to thrive as we do?
Where Are We Still Falling Short In Terms Of The Rights Of Our Animals To Thrive? Pet owners are often misguided by clever marketing and the pet food industry's agents in terms of what constitutes a healthy diet for animals. Pets diets are often linked to health issues that are the mirror-image of health problems that have escalated in our modern world from the overconsumption of processed food in humans. Obesity, heart disease, digestive problems, organ failure,
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premature ageing, lethargy in dogs and cats are all illnesses that keep the veterinary industry extremely busy and economically stable. The similarity between how the veterinary industry and the human medical industry both profit are startling: Both industries rely on sickness to maintain their monopoly over the health care of people and animals. Both industries treat illness with medicine that is manufactured by a group of exactly the same pharmaceutical companies. Basically, the common denominator between disease treatment in both industries is that both use symptomatic repression through pharmaceuticals to treat illness. Few vets or doctors operating in the traditional way are currently prescribing a natural diet as a way to disease prevention. Far from it. Yet we as humans are moving further and further away from drugs to treat our maladies and we are choosing to use a natural diet to help us thrive. However, we still take our cats and dogs to veterinary professionals who treat our fur babies with the same drugs that we are
Pets are still legally recognised as property and not as natural persons. They don't have the same newsworthiness as us humans. The prevailing corporate mentality has been this: People will feed their pets whatever we put onto the shelf, as long as it is cheap and as long as it is convenient.
now in some instances too afraid to take. Similarly, what many people don't seem to realise
use of melamine in baby formula and pet food,
is that the pet food industry is operated using the
shed some light onto the immoral practices of 'big
exact same model as the 'junk food industry' that has
food incorporated'. Pretty much in the same way as
made people so sick over the past few decades.
commercial food manufacturers like nestle have been
The pet food industry contributes to climate
brought to task for their inclusion of additives and
change, welfare problems, labour issues and an
chemicals in their products which lead to autoimmune
unsustainable food system in exactly the same way
disease in humans.
as 'big agriculture' and the commercial livestock and dairy industries do.
How Do Our Shortcomings Here Affect Our Planet's Chance Of Survival?
strictly for profit, and to make as much money as possible. Their model has nothing to do with the health-interests of animals nor with the interest of environmental sustainability. Since 2007, there has been a recall of pet food products exceeding 1000
The above propositions are pretty big claims. How
different brands in the US alone. The recalls being due
does your choice to feed kitty a bag of whiskers or
to the huge number of deaths of pets shortly after
your pup a tin of bobtail affect our environment?
consumption of these products. Corner-cutting and a
Well, think about it. All commercial pet food
stark lack of regulation in the pet food industry leads
is made from the byproducts of the commercial
to this type of recall-action happening more than what
livestock industry. And it is combined with 'fillers'
you'd think. And more often than not, these stories
derived from the genetically modified spoils of the
aren't discussed or exposed in the mainstream media.
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Most pet food companies run their businesses
Pets are still legally recognised as property
Commercial pet food is packed with chemicals
and not as natural persons. They don't have the
that mirror the likes of what we see in processed
same newsworthiness as us humans. The prevailing
human food. It contains a variety of colourants,
corporate mentality has been this: People will feed
fillers and synthetic substances that make the food
their pets whatever we put onto the shelf, as long as
tastier and extend its shelf-life. The melamine (toxic
it is cheap and as long as it is convenient. Ultimately
food additive) scandal in China that exposed the
the cost of buying cheap pet food will come out â€“ in
the money you fork out to the vet to treat your sick
Vondis strictly refrain from any animal testing.
cat or dog.
As all raw meats can carry harmful bacteria, it is important to cook all meat properly
Which Companies Are Addressing Our Outlines Concerns Sustainably & Ethically?
to kill the bacteria that can cause food poisoning. The optimal temperature to kill all harmful contamination is 72ºC – using a
There are a growing number of individuals who
lower temperature, the meat is thus able to
have empowered themselves with the knowledge
retain crucial minerals and vitamins that are
that exposes the truth about the commercial pet
usually destroyed through the high-temperature
food industry. Similarly to how most of us have now
processing methods used in commercial pet
empowered ourselves with the knowledge that a
daily intake of margerine, white bread or sugar-laden
Vondis do their best to buy only natural
products are a one-way ticket to cancer. Paul &
Cindy Jacobson are two such individuals. Both are as
preservatives or digestives.
passionate about educating consumers on the rights
Vondis ensures that the meat that they use variants of meat that Vondis uses are free range.
is about teaching us that sugar is evil. •
Vondis uses only high-quality pulses like a long grain brown rice, pearl barley, split peas and all
Vondis Holistic Pet Nutrition based in Sea Point,
Cape Town. They are so invested on the quality of their product, that they partake in every step
comes from a reputable source. Most of the
for pets to enjoy optimal health as Prof Tim Noakes They are the dynamic owners and operators of
Vondis use only a cold pressed olive oil from
of the process of their pet food preparation. If an
South Africa as a high quality omega rather than
ingredient is not instantly recognisable in its original
rendered trans-fats that the commercial industry
form as it would be found in nature, then Paul and Cindy will not include it into Vondis Pet Food.
is known to use. •
Both Paul and Cindy have enjoyed credible
bones and vegetables rather than getting quick
acknowledgment from certain mainstream doctors and vets who are now beginning to grasp the idea
results from synthetic preserved digestives. •
that health starts in the gut and not via a syringe of chemicals.
Vondis do not use any harmful preservatives – rather they freeze food, naturally and safely.
The latest veterinary studies coming out of
To reduce their carbon footprint and enhance nutritional values, Vondis cook their food using
California, as of June 2014, confirm what Paul and Cindy as well as many nutritionists have been
Vondis cook their own stock from scratch using
the old fashioned method of 'Wonder Bags'. •
The Vondis cooking process is complex and
advocating for many years: That the same nutritional
long. Their wholesome pulses are cooked slowly
science that applies to humans apply to our cats and
for three hours. Their meat is steamed till 72ºC
to kill any possible pathogen or parasite. The
Vondi's Holistic Pet Nutrition follows world-wide
veggies, herbs, omegas are blended entirely
nutritional trends and science that ensures that your beloved pet will receive the optimal and balanced
Therefore, you get the goodness of raw plant
diet, but also that the recipe and ingredients follow
nutrition with all of their immune-boosting
international safety standards
enzymes and mineral content and the safety of
In the spirit of working with the global movement
slow-cooked, low-temp heated meat.
toward a more sustainable future for all life on
In 2017, Paul Jacobson will regenerate his profile
Earth, Vondis Holistic Pet Nutrition has outlined
in our local community with his signature radio talk
some non-negotiable rules about how they run their
show on the internet-based 2oceansvibe Radio, as
well as create a more unified relationship between
While the jargon words like 'optimal, balanced,
human and animal health care in a series of
complete, scientific' are embedded in their
upcoming special events.
brand, Vondis also highlight the importance of 'safety first, quality of ingredients and morality'.
For more information visit www.vondis.co.za
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Extreme adventurer, highly respected inspirational speaker and conservationist Braam Malherbe together with rowing partner Wayne Robertson are rowing on the vessel Mhondoro to Rio de Janeiro, launching the DOT (Do One Thing) Challenge. We take a look at this endeavour that aims to highlight the importance of sustainable living.
6â€‰700km, has been undertaken to highlight
you have a purpose behind the ego, nothing is impossible.
the importance of sustainable living and
Robertson, who joined the expedition only a
to inspire the international community to Do One
week before departure, has crossed the oceans
Thing (#DOTChallenge) for the planet in an effort
many times. As a yachtsman and master skipper he
to ensure a sustainable future. Their focus will be
is very familiar with the unpredictability of life at
on the vital importance of protecting our Earth,
sea, but this is his first time as an adventurer. More
mostly the plight and preservation of the oceans,
than that, he took up rowing only the week before
on which all life depends. 'Fifty percent of the air we
the expedition and rowed this particular boat for
breathe comes from phytoplankton and it is under
the first time as they left Cape Town harbour on 7
serious threat,' says Braam. He continues: 'We would
like each person on this Earth to Do One Thing to protect our only home.'
'It is vital that Wayne and I interact and get to know each other. From my past expeditions I
Braam and Wayne will be on the ocean for the
have learned the power of humour as well as the
next two to three months, rowing 24/7 in two-hour
importance of open, honest communication. If I
shifts. This carefully planned schedule ensures that
have the slightest inkling, whether justifiable or not,
someone is always awake at night to avoid the many
that disturbs me about Wayne, I share it and Wayne
ships crossing the ocean. They began their journey
does the same,' explains Braam.
on 7 February and have already covered more then
'The physical challenge is big and the blisters are
2â€‰500km. 'We have had very little sun, which means
there in force, but our hands are already hardening
our solar panel doesn't always charge the batteries
under the torn callouses,' says Wayne. He continues:
effectively. We are, however, managing the power
'We are rowing listening to music and audio books,
and making water is our top priority,' says Wayne.
which make it easier.'
Braam and Wayne have also faced a few storms,
The purpose and significance behind this epic
during one of which the boat rolled over, leaving
row is very important: the DOT movement. DOT (Do
them under the water for five minutes. Braam
One Thing) is a simple acronym that is so much
describes the incident: 'Waves broke over the boat
more than a trend, a fad or a catchphrase. These
and we were turned completely upside down a few
three little letters boldly aim to unite the world in
times. On one of these occasions, the boat didn't
the hope that, together, we can save our planet. By
roll back up, leaving us upside down. We had to
connecting like-minded individuals on a global scale
slowly move to one side without damaging the
through its website (www.dotchallenge.org) and
instruments. The boat then came back up, but we
app, the DOT movement encourages every human
were under the water for about five minutes. Very,
being to Do One Thing to protect and preserve our
planet from further destruction and harm.
For Malherbe, who is no stranger to world-first
Braam and Wayne still have a long way to go,
expeditions, this row will be the first he has
but their spirits are high and as they develop their
attempted on the ocean. All his expeditions have
friendship on the ocean, they are practicing the
been driven by a purpose and he believes that when
power of teamwork. They are together 24/7 in
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extreme conditions and, largely due to the storm
call home. Everybody is welcome, from individuals
and a lack of sunshine, they also travelled with
to corporates and companies. Every DOT purchased
almost no communication for a few days. 'It is a
goes to the DOT Foundation (www.thedotfoundation.
challenge as we would like to communicate more,
org). This will help the DOT movement go viral, to
not only with our families but also with all our
enlighten and empower people of all ages to become
followers who are waiting for updates from us,'
better custodians of our finite Earth by providing
says Braam. 'We would like to inspire everybody to
opportunities for training and employment, to
'pull together' with us. If each one of us can Do One
provide public education and advocacy to save the
Thing for the planet, we can ensure a sustainable
planet, to promote bio-diversity, conserve natural
future. In nature, if you are not an asset, you are a
resources and counter global movement. It will also
liability. We, as humans, are not exempt from this
help to develop the DOT Challenge app â€“ our free
tool to make the all-important daily lifestyle changes
needed to save our planet.'
fundraising campaign and is asking the public to actively participate in its success. Malherbe says: 'By purchasing a DOT (http://bit.ly/DOTChallenge) you show the world your support for this global initiative and contribute to the wellbeing of the planet you
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Track Malherbe and Robertson live via the DOT app https://appsto.re/us/jsSNgb.i and on the website: www.dotchallenge.org
Water doesnâ€™t come from a tap. Water goes on a long and complicated journey to get to you.
Visit journeyofwater.co.Za to learn more about where your water comes from. Photo ÂŠ Hougaard Malan
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BMW commits to
electric & h
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Some years ago, Simply Green was selected to be one of just three local magazines considered to be at the leading edge of motoring (locally and international) with respect to covering hybrid and all-electric technologies. We were invited to the unveiling in Munich, Germany, along with a relative handful of other media from around the world, for a glimpse into the technology behind what was then called BMW's Megacity vehicle, now the i3. At the time, with some still literally pouring scorn on the idea of all-electric motoring or even of meaningfully efficient and useful hybrids, BMW seemed somewhat out on its own, along with Toyota and Nissan, in what turns out to have been a world-wide move among manufacturers towards a combination of ever-greater conventional fuel-efficiencies, numerous new hybrid variants and all-electric versions of some popular conventionally-engined offerings. Hardly out on their own any longer, BMW is also forging ahead, not just in some EU and American cities, but here in South Africa, in its roll-out of several model offerings in this class, as well as with the infrastructure that will ultimately support an ever-larger proportion of the national fleet using purely or primarily electric power. We take a look.
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MW South Africa late last year started rolling out solar carport charging for electric and plug-in hybrid models. This
makes South Africa the first market to implement solar carport charging within the global BMW network. The process began in July 2016 and, if you are a major city dweller, should be somewhere not too far away sometime soon – to be followed, one suspects, in many other places in rapid order thereafter, much as petrol stations once blossomed across landscapes urban and rural. BMW says it is providing a 'smart solution to bring
further reduction of charging costs and integrate home solar generating systems with the household and office electricity system'. And that may well be true, but more importantly, what BMW is doing is the beginning of the provision of the crucial underlying fabric of any transport system which requires dispersed fuel – putting up refill points. This means, in short, that electric motoring is here to stay. As part of the expansion of its '360º electric portfolio for BMW I Home and Public Charging Services', BMW South Africa unveiled a solar carport that was being rolled out locally (on a limited basis at first) from July 2016. The BMW i solar carport supplies an average of 3.6kW of solar power (at peak times on a clear sunny day) straight to the BMW i Wallbox, which is used to show a live readout of how much power is being generated by the sun and charge electric and plug-in hybrid BMW models. The BMW i solar carport concept was first shown at the BMW i8 international media launch in Los Angeles in April 2014 as well as the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in January 2015.
i solar 'With the rollout of the BMW i solar carport, the BMW Group is demonstrating its commitment of
shaping the future of individual mobility – not only with ground-breaking products and services, but also with the global as well as local involvement in the expansion of home and publicly accessible charging infrastructure for electrically powered vehicles. With innovative services like the solar carport, BMW is the first vehicle manufacturer to offer such a broad-based EV smart charging product to reduce costs for customers,' said Tim Abbott,
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of BMW Group South
under acceleration. The electric assist eases the load on the
Africa and Sub-Sahara.
combustion engine and reduces petrol consumption
when greater performance is required, while energy
Along with the new infrastructure and electric
recuperation on the overrun and targeted generation
car-owner support, BMW has recently unveiled
of electric power under load increase the energy
several models now available to the local market
reserves of the high-voltage battery.
in hybrid or all-electric versions. These include the
Driving Experience Control switches between
i3, mentioned at the beginning of this story, its
ADAPTIVE mode and ECO PRO mode including coasting
high-performance 'cousin', the futuristic looking i8,
function. The eDrive button allows the driver to
the 740e and hybrid X5. While BMW differentiates
select the hybrid function as and when required
the target markets for these models – they are all,
with standard setting AUTO eDRIVE optimising the
in the end, higher and high-end offerings – they
interplay of the electric motor and combustion
are also the way of the future. Which means they
engine and MAX eDRIVE providing for all-electric
are going to appeal to early adopters of automotive
technology. This shift is set to change the way we
The Battery Control setting efficiently raises the
experience the world – it is, nothing less, the way
engine's load points and uses energy recuperation to
and wave of the future.
maintain or increase the charge of the high-voltage battery for all-electric driving later in the journey.
The hybrid-specific proactive energy management
BMW 'i' technology makes its debut in the new BMW
improves efficiency through parallel technologies
7 Series model range. This technology centres on
such as the link-up with the onboard navigation
the manufacturer's eDrive drive system and carbon
core body structure derived from the development
strategy for optimised efficiency and arrival at the
of BMW i models.
entered destination in pure-electric driving mode.
It features a four-cylinder petrol engine with
Te makers say these various features mean that
BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and permanently
this model offers an 'unique overall vehicle concept
excited synchronous electric motor integrated into
and extensive transfer of technology from BMW I,
the eight-speed Steptronic transmission to generate
delivering leading efficiency in the luxury sedan
a total system output of 240kW and combined
segment'. Adding the vehicle's overall improved
torque of 500Nm; petrol consumption combined:
dynamics and performance, says BMW, is the use of
2.2-2.0l/100km, CO2 emissions combined: 50-45g/
its EfficientLightweight with optimised aerodynamics
(including Active Air Stream kidney grille).
Its lithium-ion high-voltage battery has a gross
With a larger boot capacity than any rival at
capacity of 9.2kWh (net capacity 7.4kWh) benefiting
420l on a level load surface, BMW believes that the
from specific further development for this model,
combination of a prove conventionally-engined
with compact and crash-safe positioning underneath
model with hybrid, electric and other dynamic
the rear seat bench, it can be charged from a
efficiency elements makes this one a contender
domestic power socket in under four hours or from
for anyone buying in this segment and looking
a BMW i Wallbox in under three hours.
at the same time for the most fuel-efficient and
Range on electric power only in the EU test cycle: 44-48kms with a top speed on electric power only of 140km/h. The onboard intelligent operating strategy delivers
i3 & eDrive Flexible and efficient production of electric drive
systems in model-specific configurations is what the
efficiency' and it can be driven on electric power
new BMW push into electric motoring is all about.
alone in city traffic and cross-country. The power
Using the knowledge gained in the development of
from the electric motor boost supplements the
its 'i' cars (i3 and i8) for the production of its own
combustion engine with extremely rapid response
electric motors and high-voltage batteries, BMW
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has surged into previously conventional-engined dominated sectors. Since the launch of the BMW i3 in 2013, the electric drive system expertise developed in-house has
advantage. This is reflected not only in the exceptional performance figures posted by its electric motors and high-voltage batteries, but also in efficient production methods. BMW has employed an intelligent modular system for eDrive technology to enable the manufacture of a wide variety of electric drive components. This flexible product and production concept allows BMW to respond quickly and precisely to customer requirements around the world. The company is extending the reach of its eDrive technology expertise within its international
options, typical SAV versatility and an exclusive
production network. It is already used in production
ambience are all on the sales card for this one.
at the existing locations in Germany and the USA, and will also be rolled out in China in the future.
a lithium-ion battery, which also supplies power
to the low-voltage battery for the 12V electrical
It may come as surprise to some that the first plug-in
system aboard the BMW X5 xDrive40e via a voltage
hybrid production car from the BMW core brand is a
transformer. It can be recharged by connecting
Sports Activity Vehicle. Permanent all-wheel drive
to any standard domestic power socket or a BMW
and the BMW EfficientDynamics eDrive technology
i Wallbox, as well as at public charging stations.
endow the BMW X5 xDrive40e with sensational
To save space the high-voltage battery is housed
sportiness and supreme poise on the one hand,
underneath the luggage compartment floor, where
and outstanding efficiency on the other. With a
it is also particularly well protected in the event
total system output of 230kW generated by a
of a crash. With 500-1â€‰720l of luggage space, a
four-cylinder petrol engine with BMW TwinPower
three-part folding rear backrest and a luxuriously
Turbo technology and a synchronous electric motor,
designed interior, the BMW X5 xDrive40e also
the BMW X5 xDrive40e achieves a combined fuel
boasts the high versatility associated with a large
consumption of 3.4-3.3lt/100kms and a combined
sports activity vehicle but blended with an exclusive
electricity consumption of 15.4-15.3kWh over the
same distance. CO2 emissions come in at 78-77g/ km. The
There drive options which include Intelligent powertrain control and eDrive button for intense
'exceptionally efficient performance' as well as
hybrid driving and mobility with zero local emissions. The
all-electric mobility with zero tailpipe emissions, as
characterised by versatile and effortless performance.
and when required, ushers in a whole new form of
The intelligent hybrid powertrain control ensures
'commanding' driving experience in a SUV. At the
that the engine and the electric motor act in unison
same time, the BMW X5 xDrive40e reaps the benefits
in a way that optimises efficiency while also catering
of the technology and know-how transferred from
to the driver's wishes. The eDrive button on the
the debut of the BMW i cars. The BMW i8 has blazed
centre console allows the driver to adjust the hybrid
a trail for sustainable driving pleasure with plug-in
drive's operating mode. In the AUTO eDrive basic
hybrid drive power, which can now also be enjoyed
setting, the engine's power is boosted to noticeable
for the first time in a model from the BMW core
effect when accelerating or during quick bursts of
speed by the electric drive, whose full torque of
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The energy for the electric motor integrated in the 8-speed Steptronic transmission is drawn from
250Nm is on tap from standstill for instantaneous
power delivery. The BMW X5 xDrive40e completes the sprint from 0 to 100km/h in 6.8 seconds – not that anyone sensible will be actually timing such things, but just so that you know that big as it is the X5 is no slouch out of the blocks. Alternatively, the MAX eDrive mode can be engaged, enabling the BMW X5 xDrive40e to run purely on electric power – when driving in urban traffic for instance – resulting in zero local emissions. When the high-voltage battery is fully charged, the vehicle has a range of up to 31kms in the all-electric drive mode with a limited maximum speed of 120km/h. The SAVE Battery mode can also be activated at the touch of a button, causing the high-voltage battery's state of charge to be maintained or allowing energy to be accumulated again, for example, by means of recuperation, if capacity is low. In this way, electrical energy can be deliberately conserved for all-electric driving later in the journey. Regardless of the setting chosen with the eDrive button, the power stemming from both drive sources is permanently transmitted to the road via the intelligent all-wheel-drive system, BMW xDrive. The various vehicle set-ups that can be selected with the Driving Experience Control switch – Comfort, Sport and Eco Pro – are also available in all drive modes.
Options All of the driver assistance systems and mobility services from BMW ConnectedDrive offered as standard or as optional extras for the BMW X5 are also available to provide enhanced driving pleasure
BMW i3, South Africa's most successful electric car, is be available in Avis' Point 2 Point fleet in Johannesburg. This is the first time BMW i3 will be available in the car rental sector in South Africa. Point 2 Point is an Avis service that provides customers a professional destination chauffeur service in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg. Avis recently purchased three BMW i3 cars for their Point 2 Point fleet and four BMW i8s for their Luxury Fleet as part of their ongoing initiative to lower emissions and introduce alternative energy vehicles into its rental fleet. Since its successful market launch in South Africa in March 2015, a total of 142 BMW i3s and 181 BMW i8s have been delivered to customers, making BMW i3 the most successful electric vehicle in the local market. Internationally, the BMW Group has delivered more than 100 000 purely electric-powered cars and plug-in hybrids to customers worldwide. The BMW i3 alone has sold more than 60 000 units, making it the most successful electric vehicle in the premium compact segment. 'The local and global success of the BMW i models offers clear evidence of the growing interest in sustainable personal mobility. Achieving even greater market penetration of all-electric and plug-in hybrid drive systems depends not only on attractive cars but also committed rental companies like Avis,' said Tim Abbott, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of BMW Group South Africa and Sub-Sahara. As part of the expansion of its 360° electric portfolio for BMW i Home and Public Charging Services, BMW South Africa launched its first solar carport earlier this year, the first in the BMW Group. 'With the roll out of the BMW i solar carport, the BMW Group is demonstrating its commitment of shaping the future of individual mobility - not only with ground-breaking products and services, but also with the global as well as local Corporate Communications involvement in the expansion of home and publicly accessible charging infrastructure for electrically powered vehicles. With innovative services like the solar carport, BMW is the first vehicle manufacturer to offer such a broad-based EV smart charging product to reduce costs for customers,' added Abbott.
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in the model variant with eDrive technology. An intelligent energy management function is also offered as a special model-specific feature that can be used in conjunction with the Navigation system Professional which is fitted as standard in the BMW X5 xDrive40e. Whenever route guidance is active, data on the route profile is factored into powertrain control along with real-time traffic information. When driving medium to long distances, the system can therefore ensure it is possible to drive purely on electric power on urban sections by using Brake Energy Regeneration and managing the high-voltage battery's energy reserves in a targeted and efficient manner. The hybrid-specific version of the BMW Remote app makes it possible to check the high-voltage battery's state of charge, locate public charging stations or call up efficiency evaluations for the BMW X5 xDrive40e on a smartphone. The auxiliary
heating and ventilation functions can also be activated remotely. The BMW i Wallbox, including installation service, are available for home charging as part of the BMW 360Âş electric concept, offering customers a particularly fast and convenient means of recharging the high-voltage battery while parked. Model-specific assistance services are also available. The ChargeNow service provides cash-free access to all BMW charging stations with the ChargeNow card. Also on offer is the Navigation system Professional as well as an auxiliary heating and ventilation system. This is powered by electricity from the high-voltage battery or from the mains supply while charging. The BMW X5 xDrive40e additionally comes equipped as standard with the Adaptive Suspension Package Comfort including rear air suspension and Dynamic Damper Control. Beyond this, practically all the optional extras offered for the BMW X5 can also be specified for the plug-in hybrid model. The Design Pure Experience and Pure Excellence packages for the exterior and interior are also available for the BMW X5 xDrive40e, as are the M Sport package and the bespoke features from BMW Individual.
i3 & i8 Both BMW's i3 and its supercar cousin the i8 have been extensively covered in these pages pages previously. The best thing to do with such vehicles
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is to experience them personally since they are such a departure form the 'norm' of conventional driving on our roads, not merely because they are both fully electric and can, when required, 'go like the clappers', but perhaps every bit as importantly, because they literally embody a new concept in passenger vehicle driving – the modular carbon fibre frame. Completely recyclable and, with production issues resolved, now clearly the way forward beyond metal or glass fibre bodied vehicles, carbon is turning out to offer us solutions to problems though previously unsolvable. These cars' bodies are both much lighter (80% less than steel and 60% less than aluminium) and much stronger than virtually anything else on the road. Driving them is a huge surprise to those thinking they are getting behind the wheel of a 'suped-up milk cart' – pedal input to acceleration delay is essentially instant and acceleration is delivered immediately. This writer saw a roughly equivalent and older hybrid – a Prius, as it turns out – simply blow away a Porche 911 in a short drag (500m) from a set of lights. BMW's new offerings will no doubt do every bit as well if not a great deal better in any similar showdown. Smart, efficient, light on the road and much lighter on the environment, these hybrid and all-electric offerings are, as we said at the outset, no doubt the way and wave of the future – so get ready for electric motoring sometime in the very near future.
Resources Further information on official fuel consumption figures, specific CO2 emission values and the electric power consumption of new passenger cars is included in the guideline found here. Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BMWGroup Twitter: http://twitter.com/BMWGroup YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/BMWGroupview
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A new year for Simply Green has started. In this issue we kick off a big GMO debate as well as feature the latest updates from Airports Comp...
Published on Mar 26, 2017
A new year for Simply Green has started. In this issue we kick off a big GMO debate as well as feature the latest updates from Airports Comp...